Yogyakarta, Indonesia - The government is nearing the publication of its first Strategic National Action Plan (SNAP) for Disaster Risk Reduction, with community preparedness, response mechanism and disaster risk mitigation projects as the main thrust of the SNAP.
Sharing Brunei's progress in its disaster risk reduction efforts thus far at the 9th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in Yogyakarta was the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman as he revealed the publication of SNAP.
The minister explained that Brunei has completed its National Standard Operating Procedure (NaSOP) for disaster operations as part of efforts to enhance capacity in Priority Area 5 in the Hyogo Frame for Action.
"Our region has almost every type of disaster - from earthquakes, tsunami, floods, typhoons, heavy torrential rain, drought, pandemic and many more," he said.
"The flood in Thailand in 2011 and more recently in The Phillippines, as well as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2010 have disrupted hundreds of thousands of lives in these countries.
"However, I am amazed at how the people of these countries were able to bounce back to their daily lives.
This level of community resilience towards disaster is something we want to instil in Brunei.
"Brunei Darussalam is blessed in terms of the types, scale and frequency of disasters. We only exprience small-scale floods, forest fires and other low-impact weather-related disasters with minimal lives lost. The damage to properties is also manageable," the minister said.
"However, this blessing also poses a big challenge to us in fully implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action, particularly at the local government level. Due to the nature of disasters in the country, Disaster Risk Reduction is seen as the main responsibility of a single organisation in the government.
"This brings us to our theme this year of strengthening our local government in disaster risk reduction. It is very much relevant and important for. us to further develop it and make it our priority We recognise the importance of enhancing the roles of our local government in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), but to do so, we hope to make DRR as part of the framework. We believe their involvement in DRR is important in creating a disaster resilient community," he added.
The minister also said in the country's drive to enhance the community's capacity in responding to disasters, the Government of Brunei through the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) has conducted the Community Based Disaster Risk Management, widely known as 'CBDRM.'
It was launched in 2010. Every year, the NDMC works in tandem with the district offices to conduct this grassroots activity, and the community's participation has been very encouraging.
Brunei Darussalam has also further enhanced the disaster management capacity of local governments.
The establishment of the District Disaster Management Committee has provided the platform to manage disaster response in their respective areas.
The minister also noted the CBDRM programmes for the school environment has trained teachers as part of the Trainer-of-Trainers programmes in implementing DDR into educational institutions.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin