“We want to secure a safe future for our children.” Lakhsmi Koli
‘Parvati’ – a slum located on hill slopes sprawling up to the river making the population

The 2015 RISK Award goes to the AIILSG in India

Activities for risk reduction must integrate the people at risk and make use of their traditional coping techniques and knowledge. The 2015 RISK Award honours and funds an innovative and sustainable project in India. The winner of the 2015 RISK Award is the All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG). Its project reduces disaster risks faced especially by women and children in a slum population.

Pune city in Maharastra State of India is among the most multi-hazard-prone districts in the country. For the poorest of the poor the risks increase multi-folds as they have hardly any means and resources for disaster risk reduction or disaster preparedness. Approximately 21% of Pune's population (690,000 people) resides in the city’s 477 slums in uninhabitable conditions. Many of those slums are densely populated, lack basic services and infrastructure and, moreover, are located on hills as well as in high flood zones. Consequently, people are highly vulnerable to natural disasters (landslides, floods, heavy rains, earthquakes or cyclones) and man-made disasters (like fires and collapsing buildings). Women and children are the weakest and most heavily affected.

With its project “Community self-assessment and planning with women’s participation for disaster risk” the AIILSG from India aims to reduce the disaster risk of the urban vulnerable communities in slums with a special focus on children and women.

Measures are planned in four areas:

  • Empowering the vulnerable slum communities from urban areas to assess their own disaster preparedness and plan disaster risk reduction.
  • Mobilising proactive participation of women who are among the most vulnerable to disaster impacts.
  • Developing a cadre of community volunteers as master trainers.
  • Developing child-friendly information, education and communication includingvisual tools.

Thus, the project will address all the three aspects vis-à-vis disaster risk reduction:
1) disaster risk identification and assessment,
2) preparedness for effective response and
3) knowledge management and education.

The beneficiaries of the project will be 25,000 residents from more than ten slums in the city of Pune. Lakhasmi Koli, a targeted beneficiary from the Mahatma Gandhi Slum says: “We are not fully aware about disaster risks and their mitigation and preparedness. This project will be very crucial as it will build our capacities and community resilience.”

Innovation, sustainability and people-centred approaches were important selection criteria when choosing the 2015 RISK Award winner. The community self-assessment project of AIILSG perfectly met these and convinced the jury with a multi-stakeholder-partnership. When the project later can be multiplied to other slums, too, a huge step is taken for a more resilient society in India and elsewhere.
 

CB, 16 March 2015

Projects and reports

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RISK Award 2015 awardee

> All India Institute of Local Self-Government, India

 

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RISK Award Partners

> UNISDR

> GRF Davos

> Munich Re Foundation

 

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