Jimbaran, Bali Nov.5 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday conducted a tsunami drill at SMP Taman Sastra school in Jimbaran, Bali. The drill was organized with the support of the Government of Japan and was held in conjunction with World Tsunami Day.
The school, constructed in simple, yet elegant Balinese undertones is located close to Jimbaran Bay. Students, ranging in age from 13 to 15, eagerly lined up in the school’s central grounds as the principal and faculty of the school welcomed representative from Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority, Mr. Aminudin Hamzah, representative from the Ministry of Education, Mr Faizal and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ms. Sophie Kemkhadze.
“Given that Indonesia is vulnerable to natural disasters such as tsunamis, preparedness is key,” Ms. Kemkhadze said in opening remarks. “Drawing on the expertise and support of the Government of Japan, UNDP is committed to raising awareness of natural disasters and helping communities handle disasters that are unpredictable. These drills are important, especially for vulnerable communities. Preparation saves lives and being aware of the procedures ahead of time ensures that one has a greater chance of surviving a natural disaster,” she added.
Following the welcome remarks were a prayer and renditions of traditional Balinese songs. Students then returned to their classrooms to prepare for the drill.
The drill began with a call for evacuation, at which point students followed instructions from trained teachers to “drop, hold, cover” (seeking shelter under tables) and filing out of the building to the central holding area before proceeding to the designated evacuation zone located 800 meters away from the school.
More than 300 students, teachers and staff participated in the event organized as part of UNDP’s #PreparetoWin initiative which was launched on International Disaster Risk Awareness Day on Oct. 13.
UNDP began working with 90 schools to assess their tsunami risks, design emergency procedures and evacuation plans, and carry out tsunami awareness and safety drills in the 18 Asia and the Pacific countries in 2017. More than 285 schools and 107,000 students people have taken part in these drills until now.
Teachers and students received training on being prepared in the event of a tsunami. The drill included identifying evacuation areas and shelters, preparedness assessment and other measure on responding to a tsunami.
“We are thankful for UNDP’s assistance in providing our faculty and staff the resources needed to help students in the event of a tsunami, “ said Principal I Made Wijana. “Drills like this have helped us understand the need to be prepared and to ensure that our students can be helped in the immediate aftermath of a disaster,” he added.
As a follow up to these trainings around the region, teachers have agreed on action plans and will conduct school’s capacity assessment in their respective school using the STEP-A mobile application, develop school action plan on school disaster preparedness.
The project focused on the most vulnerable coastal communities of 18 countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.
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