Civil Defense in Tulkarm governorate and the Governor’s office have organized a workshop on disaster risk mitigation in Palestine in cooperation with An-Najah National University’s Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Center (UPDRRC). The event that took place on March 3, 2014 was The lecture was moderated by Mr. Jehad Al-Asaad, a Consultant from the Tulkarm Governorate.
The workshop, like most of activities that are considered of national importance was opened by playing the National Anthem, followed by a welcoming from Dr. Abdall Kmail, governor of Tulkarm who addressed the participants appreciating their efforts in helping the community in emergencies and their efforts to be trained and prepared to face any future emergencies. Dr. Kmail thanked UPDRRC team led by Dr. Jalal Dabbeek for their efforts in raising public awareness on the such issue and the for the continuous efforts in training national and local teams in this field which will empower the Palestinin society to possible natural or man-made disasters. He also appreciated the effort of the volunteers who are enrolled in these program considering volunteers a major resource in getting prepared for facing emergencies, especially in the current environment changes on global level and its consequence on our region.
In his turn, the Director of Civil Defense in Tulkarm, Lt. Col. Sami Hamdan, spoke of the role of security forces in cases of emergency and the importance of coordination amongst the different involved parties through a unified operations headquarters, something they already have in Tulkarm in partnership with major player like An-Nah University’s UPDRRC, the engineer association and public sector partners like the ministry of public work and housing. He added this effort is of high importance that President and the Prime Minister are updated on it for the purpose of advancing coordination with the concerned parties on national level.
Dr. Dabbeek’s presentation and the discussions that followed were the core part of the workshop. In his presentation, Dr. Dabbeek talked about the SASPARM- FP7 Project; its objectives, partners network and activities as well as the opportunities it created to actively engage new parties in the efforts in the framework of disaster risk mitigation strategies and programs in Palestine. noting the existence of so many interior challenges in addition to the obstacles mainly created by the Israeli Occupation and its measures against Palestinian people. On the other hand he noted that there are various possibilities to develop the capacities of the Palestinian community to challenge disasters. He spoke about how it was possible, within the framework of SASPARM- FP7 project, to coordinate a large number of training courses, workshops and meetings in coordination with the Engineers Association and Local Government Units in fields of raising awareness raising as well a professional training in this field. Hi presentation
Dr. Dabbeek’s lecture addressed many topics, most importantly: seismicity of Palestine, and seismic vulnerability of common building patterns in Palestine, priorities of action to build capacities of communities and individuals to challenge disasters in accordance with Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015.
The presentation triggered discussions on the topics of concern including answering the attendees’ queries and coming up with a number of recommendations.
- The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) is the first plan to explain, describe and detail the work that is required from all different sectors and actors to reduce disaster losses. It was developed and agreed on with the many partners to reduce disaster risk: Governments; international agencies; disaster experts; and many others. Bringing them into a common system of coordination. The HFA outlines five priorities for action, and offers guiding principles and practical means for achieving disaster resilience. Its goal is to substantially reduce disaster losses by 2015 by building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. This means reducing loss of lives and social, economic, and environmental assets when hazards strike.