Responding to the International Day for Disaster Reduction 2014 with the theme “The elderly with disasters: Resilience for Life”, the Central Climate Change Network held a celebration in Danang with the participation of leaders of Danang city People’s Committee, representatives of the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and Disaster Management Center, representatives of Associations of People with Disabilities of some cities and provinces. This is one of the activities within the cooperation framework of Plan International in Vietnam and the Center for Rural Development in Central Vietnam (CRD) – Coordinating Organization of the CCN.
Addressing the opening celebration, representatives of the People’s Committee of Danang city and Disaster Management Center (DMC) identified the importance of community participation in disaster prevention, especially the participation of people with disabilities and the elderly in order to promote integration, strength and experience in disaster prevention.
The talk-show session were considered an active and practical importance to the participation of the representatives of Danang city People’s Committee and Disaster Management Center (DMC), representatives of the elderly with disabilities in the community of Danang city and Elderly Association participating in the village flood prevention committee.
During the talk-show, some contents were shared and discussed lively and practically:
- Representatives of the elderly shared life problems of the elderly (with disabilities) at home, in the community and when a disaster occurs; experiences of the elderly should be exploited in the disaster prevention and the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities participating in disaster prevention activities.
- Representatives of the People’s Committee of Danang city, Mr. Huynh Van Thang, Deputy director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vice President of Center for Flood and Storm Control, Search and Rescue of Danang city shared the city activities in disaster prevention with the participation of the community; considered it as one of the core issues that the city has been implementing with the support of local and international organizations and determined the role of the elderly contributing in disasters prevention .
- Disaster Management Center (DMC) provided general information on themes of International Day for Disaster Prevention in recent years, the significance of the theme “The elderly with disasters 2014: Resilience for Life”, the role of the elderly in connection of generations, life experience, experience in disaster prevention and ensuring solidarity and mobilizing all resources in the community.
At the roundtable discussion after talk-show, numerous comments from representatives of Association of People with Disabilities, the elderly mentioned the difficulties in access to disaster prevention activities, especially developing disaster prevention plan, training and education; representatives of the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs stressed the problem of people with disabilities and the elderly being currently given special attention and promoted the strength and ensured inclusion of people with disabilities and the elderly in the disaster prevention. To achieve this goal, developing a propaganda team and signing a memorandum with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is very important, and has been currently discussed and developed.
Talking to the participants, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) highlighted standpoints of the government directing the participation of communities, especially vulnerable groups in disaster prevention in the Disaster Prevention Law, National Strategy for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to 2020, the project “Raising public awareness and community-based disaster risk management”, the important role of local government at all levels, social and political organizations, especially Association of People with Disabilities, Elderly Association, international organizations in the implementation of specific activities for people with disabilities and the elderly so that they could participate and contribute to practical activities in the local disaster prevention. These are considered the most important factors to realize the Government’s direction and expectations of the disability community and the elderly.
The celebration also includeds communication activities such as exhibitions, music activities, drama by the Association of people with disabilities and the elderly of city and provinces of Danang, Hue and Quang Tri that were made by themselves and performed. This is seen as a strong message about the role and expectations to contributing the strength in disaster prevention in the community.
Closing the ceremony, the participants evaluated communication activities celebrating the International Day for Disaster Reduction very practical and expect more activity for gradually including the disabled and the elderly in disaster prevention.
(Department of Information and Statistics – Disaster Management Center)