Red Cross to help vulnerable communities increase their resilience levels

Namibia Red Cross (NRC) will be supporting vulnerable communities to increase their resilience levels against natural disasters, by implementing a number of community projects, NRC Secretary General Bernadette Bock said.

Bock, in a media statement on Friday, said projects will be implemented in the Zambezi, Kavango East, and West, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Khomas, Otjozondjupa and Erongo regions.

“These include among others, risk communication and community mobilisation focussing on Hepatitis E and COVID-19 in most regions, a fire prevention project to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and socio-economic impacts caused by informal settlement house burns in Windhoek. An emergency drought response project, water sanitation and hygiene projects will be implemented in Kunene,” she highlighted.

She added that disasters affect people’s capacities to cope and recover after the event, leaving them vulnerable. Vulnerability is one of the defining components of disaster risk and concerns wider environmental and social conditions that limit people and communities to cope with the impacts of hazards.

Since the occurrence and severity of natural hazards cannot be reduced, there is a need to focus on reducing vulnerability or increasing community resilience levels as opportunities for reducing disaster risk.

Some approaches might include implementing building codes, tailor-making insurance, making social protection more shock responsive, emphasising economic diversity and resilient livelihoods, knowledge, and awareness-raising and implementing preparedness measures, said Bock.

“We need to make the effort to understand people’s capacity to resist and recover from disasters, as well as enhancing the overall resilience of people, society and systems. And this is where scientific and traditional knowledge should form the basis of outside interventions to reduce disaster risk,” Bock said.

Good national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction must be multi-sectoral, linking various policies in a variety of sectors such as land-use planning, public health, education, agriculture, environmental protection, energy, water resources, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation, she added.

Source: Namibia Press Agency