Yangon – Women For The World

Emergency response to flooding

City populations are concentrated as a result of the impact of rapid migration of rural populations to urban centers. Cities are made up of complex interdependent structures including massive connectivity, communications and public infrastructures systems. Hazard zones are increasing as space for low income families to settle is limited and urban land use is pushed to its limits.

Many cities are facing the impact of global climate change. According to Environmental Change and Security Program (ESCAP 2015) city regions globally were affected 344 times by climate disasters including earthquakes, floods, landslides, storms and drought during 2015 and almost half of these were in the Asia Pacific region. More than 16,000 people died and South Asia accounted for 64% of global fatalities. 45 billion in economic wealth was also lost. The impact of natural disasters results in economic and development instability.

Mitigation and adaptation planning must be integrated into urban land used management. Good public infrastructure, drainage systems, waste management systems and housing planning lead to resilient cities.

Natural heritage areas are needed to help prevent disaster naturally. Slum settlements in hazardous areas must be prohibited to reduce disaster risks. Poor communities in informal slum settlements are the most vulnerable in the event of natural disasters due to their lack of access to basic services.

Communities living in slum areas are vulnerable flooding caused by climate change

Vulnerable poor communities need access to information as well as basic needs infrastructure. Communities are the brain of the cities and collaboration and participation in natural disaster risk management planning is vitally important. Developers must be aware of the need to integrate natural disaster risk reduction in their planning. Governments, development agencies, the private sector and communities are needed to work on making policies, guidelines, rules and regulations for urban planning to build resilient cities.

Education, mutual learning and a space for sharing information can be created between all stakeholders to find solutions together.

Based in this context, Women for the World (WFW) has been working for disaster risk reduction, mitigation and adaptation planning to the most vulnerable groups (squatters, the homeless) to provide housing and urban services including water, sanitation and waste management in collaboration with many stakeholders including the government, UN-agencies, INGOs and local communities.

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