Barangay San Antonio, Katipunan, ZaNorte in Drill to Reduce Disaster Risk





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Published on Jun 3, 2012

Video Footage and Editing by Boyet Codas-

Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte - "An average of three (3) times flooding in a year has been a trend here in our barangay and this drill is the first ever conducted in our place. We feel grateful to the LGU of Katipunan, RFLP-Phi and EcoWEB for embarking on this initiative that has raised the awareness of the residents on how to reduce vulnerabilities especially to coastal flooding and storm surge", said Barangay Captain Gervacio Jaictin of Barangay San Antonio after the community drill to test their readiness for emergency coastal flood operations on May 26, 2012.

The community flood early warning system drill is part of the project Capacity Building on DRRM and Design of Early Warning System which has been assisted by the Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits (EcoWEB), a non-government organization providing experts in hazard mapping and other aspects of flood disaster preparedness and response with the funding support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO) Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia-Philippines (RFLP-Phi). The exercise builds from the work already completed by the LGU of Katipunan with regard to hazard mapping the community and the establishment of the Early Warning and Early Response System.

The officials and volunteers of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) of Region 9, PAGASA and Organized Radio Assistance for Communication and Information Services (ORACIS) also provided technical assistance during the community drill.

Almost 2,000 barangay residents inclusive of men, women, elderly, youth, differently-abled persons, and children from the nine (9) puroks of barangay San Antonio were mobilized and participated in the drill which commenced at approximately 10:00 in the morning. The exercise involved simulation of the EWS of the specified community focusing a worst case scenario of a flood hazard affecting the coastal barangay of San Antonio. Demonstrations of local responders on water search and rescue (WASAR) as part also of safety at sea, evacuation flow and first aid were also featured in the drill through the expertise of ORACIS being a quick response organization providing voluntary services to both natural and human induced disasters.

During the exercise, the residents were required to demonstrate systematic preparedness actions to be taken in the event of flooding and thus reduce their vulnerability and disaster risk. The residents successfully simulated all aspects of the Community Flood Preparedness and Response Plan. These include the activation of the early warning system by way of providing warning signals, disseminating necessary information to the residents, testing of evacuation routes utilizing signage, water level markers and hazard maps erected in the community, and the evacuation of the residents prioritizing the most vulnerable persons like the children, differently-able persons, the elderly and women. Additionally, The basic protocols in the relay of early warning calls was role-played by units concerned such as PAGASA transmitting typhoon warning bulletin to the unit of the province down to the municipal, barangay, and purok levels using handheld radio transceivers.

Mr. Victor Bernido, OCD Coordinator for ZaNorte, indicated, "it is clear in the exercise that the residents have assimilated the information provided and are capacitated to respond appropriately should a flood hazard threat their communities. With this experience and learning in Katipunan, it is our hope to replicate and promote such successes across all flood prone communities in Zamboanga del Norte in the foreseeable future."

The Municipal Mayor of Katipunan Honorable Crisostomo Eguia, the MDRRM Officer of Katipunan Mr. Dick Romarate, the EcoWeb Deputy Director Mr. Walter Alquiza and the Provincial Governor of ZaNorte Honorable Rolando Yebes also shared their messages in the culmination program done in the assumed evacuation site at the barangay covered court. The messages emphasize that the synergy and collective efforts of all major stakeholders especially the barangay and purok leaders and residents of San Antonio are imperatives in disaster risk reduction and management in this time of climate change and global warming.

ECOWEB-ZaNorte Team

To learn more about Ecoweb and its programs, please visit www.ecoweb.ph


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