With the threat of natural disasters, such as extreme cyclones, floods, and wildfires, the Myanmar Government is working on moving forward on its initiatives to protect the country’s population of 53M. Most recently, officials managed to hit a new milestone aimed at improving the country’s resilience and risk reduction, via a partnership with the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), with a meeting held in a hotel in Myanmar in order to further prepare the country.
Earlier in Jan. 23-24, 2018, 41 government officials from several departments, such as the Depart of Meteorology and Hydrology, the Agricultural Planning Department and others, with key stakeholders, attended a training programme held by the PDC at a hotel in Myanmar, the Royal Ace Hotel in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw. The programme tackled making the best of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN)’s Disaster Monitoring and Response Systems (DMRS).
DMRS was created by the PDC on the DisasterAWARE™ platform and was put into use back in 2012 through financial support from the USAID, and has since been supporting the disaster management and risk reduction programmes of the ASEAN Member States, Myanmar, of course, included. As part of the joint project between the country and the PDC, which is also supported by the USAID Office of Foreign of Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the PDC is working with governments in order to improve upon the ASEAN’s DMRS capabilities in order to support its use in Myanmar and the other ASEAN countries for better disaster risk reduction.
Project activities include incorporation of national data from the countries about disaster prone areas, local infrastructure, population census, among others.
Other key points and goals of the project are:
- Increasing the governments capability for disseminating early warnings to at-risk areas
- Provide extensive training on DMRS operation for users
- Develop and set the standard operating procedures
- Identify, and integrate important data sources into the DMRS
- Establish data sharing contracts in order to ensure that the program continues to perform up to par in the future
Deputy Executive Director Chris Chiesa, PDC, says that they are working on improving the AHA Centre’s decision support application, alongside the Myanmar government’s capacity for disaster management, with the end goal to help the government reduce casualties from disasters by ensuring the effective utilization of information, processes and tools.