Disaster Risk Management


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George Town has been selected as a pilot site for the Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Reduction of Heritage Cities in Southeast Asia and Small Island Developing States in the Pacific project by UNESCO Jakarta in cooperation with UNESCO Apia. It aims to enhance the capacity of stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction of heritage cities and empower the communities through the improved management plans that include disaster risk reduction strategies.

The Inception Workshop on the Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Reduction of Heritage Cities in Southeast Asia and Small Island Developing States in the Pacific organised in George Town on 5 and 6 April 2017 was the first activity held under the project.

It was then followed by the National Workshop on Harmonizing Coordination to Implement Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Strategy in the Heritage City of George Town on 1 and 2 March 2018, held to discuss the development of effective disaster risk reduction strategies for George Town by refining a draft Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy.

At the same time, George Town World Heritage Incorporated promotes knowledge of disaster risk management through workshops and awareness campaigns to educate the local communities on implementing protection measures, and how to act and respond effectively in the event of disasters such as fire and flood.

Representatives from the local communities residing in the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site attend our disaster risk management workshops to collectively identify the risks in their surrounding compounds, preventive measures, and emergency action plans. The workshop and discussion sessions enhance their disaster preparedness, enabling them to understand and identify the hazards, vulnerability, possible factors of disasters, and the impact of disasters on the site.

The Community-based Fire Responders for George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site programme has been organised in collaboration with UNESCO Jakarta in 2019, to improve fire protection measures and enhance the communities’ resilience during fire emergencies. Participants are to each receive a set of fire extinguisher and smoke detector to be installed at their respective heritage premises, as well as undergo a basic training in firefighting and be provided with practical fire mitigation information.

A disaster risk reduction toolkit in the form of informative posters is also developed as part of the capacity building efforts to educate the public on disaster mitigation measures and improve their emergency response preparedness. The posters are available in four languages – English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil – and can be downloaded for free.

For details on disaster risk management in George Town, contact Ng Boon Nee, Town Planner at 04-261 6606 or e-mail [email protected]