On a regular basis, the region around Sittwe is hit by heavy storms during the monsoon period. Due to widespread poverty and lacking means for disaster preparedness so far, even small natural disasters can lead to severe impacts and damages on a local level. The people living in the area only have limited access to functional health services and sanitation facilities.
An outbreak of an epidemic following a natural disaster could therefore have dramatic consequences due to lacking response capacity of health care providers and problems in infrastructure, making it difficult to reach the affected areas. Thus, in addition to providing emergency relief after disasters, it is very important to involve local communities in concepts of disaster preparedness.
This is why, in 2006, Malteser International decided to start a project to prepare the communities in the area for eventual disaster situations. The population is involved in every step of the process, from the planning phase throughout the implementation.
To strengthen the capacities of the local communities for disaster preparedness and emergency relief
German Federal Foreign Office (AA), Germany's Relief Coalition (ADH)
local communities and authorities