Duration: July – December, 2011
Effective management of natural disasters and crisis situations in Tajikistan
Polish Center for International Aid, Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan, Committee of Emergency Situations of the city of Dushanbe.
The project consisted of two interconnected components:
1) Training of 25 Local Crisis Management Committees
Under the first component of the project, training was provided for 25 Local Crisis Management Committees: 20 from the eastern part of Dushanbe which is the most vulnerable to natural disasters, and an additional 5 Committees from the suburbs of the capital. The training reached a total of 497 beneficiaries.
Local Committees provide valuable support to the urban Committee of Emergency Situations and the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan. Members of Local Committees have an in-depth knowledge on how to deal with emergency situations which occur very often in Dushanbe. The most common ones include mudslides, landslides, floods, and earthquakes.
In addition, under the first component, a team of 13 volunteers participating in rescue operations coordinated by the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan were provided with some equipment, such as good quality shoes and jackets, tools, and a generator.
2) Creation of an SMS Emergency Center
The second component of the project consisted of the creation of an SMS Emergency Center. Technically speaking, it is a computer with appropriate software and a built-in modem with a SIM card. The SMS Emergency Center has been provided with a database of cell phone numbers of the staff and members of Local Crisis Management Committees, the Red Crescent, and the Committee of Emergency Situations. The numbers have been organized by group and location categories. The database contains cell phone numbers only, and will not be used to gather any type of personal information.
Thanks to the SMS Emergency Center, with “one click” someone can send a text message to a group of targeted audience. Its operational capacity allows sending 145,000 SMS at once. The goal of creating such a Center is the rapid warning notification and coordination of Local Crisis Management Committees in the event of an emergency. The Center is interactive, allowing a two-way flow of information. One can reply to an SMS, providing additional information that can prove to be key during an emergency, such as the exact location of a river overflow, or where to send an ambulance.
The SMS Emergency Center has been managed by the Committee of Emergency Situations of the city of Dushanbe. The project was positively evaluated by all the partners. The Committee of Emergency Situations and the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan consider the project, especially the SMS Emergency Center component, as the beginning of a more effective and efficient cooperation with populations residing in endangered areas.
The grant, amounting to PLN 140,889, received under the Polish Aid program of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2011.