Disaster risk reduction begins at school

Completed

In countries like Madagascar, that are regularly exposed to climate-driven crisis, education can play a critical role in preparing for natural hazards, ensuring that knowledge and appropriate safety behaviour are deeply embedded within communities. Over the past three years, we supported UNICEF to provide regional authorities, teachers, and over 3 million students with sound knowledge of proven actions to take at school and home before, during and after a natural hazard strikes. Combining humanitarian relief with long-term preparedness objectives, UNICEF helped increase the resilience of the population of 16 high-risk regions.

Duration
2014-2018
challenge
Emergency Response
country
Madagascar
partner
UNICEF

Results achieved

In countries like Madagascar, that are regularly exposed to climate-driven crisis, education can play a critical role in preparing for natural hazards and in mitigating the impacts once devastation has struck. The challenge is to ensure that knowledge and appropriate safety behaviour are deeply embedded within communities.

Over the last three years, UNICEF has worked with the Ministry of Education, combining humanitarian relief with long-term preparedness objectives, to increase the resilience of the population across 16 high-risk regions.

  • 2,363 teacher trainers have trained 25,000 teachers on disaster preparedness and risk management, including lessons and exercises on how to get ready for and what to do when a natural hazard is announced (be it a cyclone, flood, earthquake, fire or drought). The trainings also involved drills, understanding on the national colour coding system to communicate the severity of an impending disaster, and psychological support. A total of 160,000 training guides were printed and distributed to teachers.

Despite unremitting challenges, including cyclone Enawo in March 2017 and a fast-spreading plague outbreak toward the end of the year, the intervention enabled a smooth recovery that gave nearly 18,500 primary level students a rapid return to classes.