2 villages of Sigma conduct inclusive community evacuation drills

In photo: A barangay health worker giving the first early warning to the residents of Acbo. © Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office

Acbo and Amaga, 2 of the villages of Sigma municipality in Capiz province, conducted their inclusive community evacuation drills on March 21 and 22.

The drills were participated by 421 local officials, leaders and residents including farmers, women, children, older people and persons with disabilities. Specifically, 151 participated in the drill in Acbo while 270 joined the one in Amaga.

Prior to this, Handicap International (HI) and Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (Capiz PDRRMO) trained the officials, leaders and residents of the villages on disability inclusive disaster risk reduction (DIDRR) and vulnerability capacity assessment. They also gave the villages their early warning kits.

Moreover, HI and Capiz PDRRMO helped them in restructuring their disaster risk reduction and management councils (DRRMCs) to include community-based organisations and disabled people’s organisations, guided them in drafting their DRRM and contingency plans and conducted a tabletop simulation of the drill.

We ensured that all vulnerable individuals are included in every disaster risk reduction effort of the villages, improving their capacity to respond during disasters and increasing their resiliency.

“This kind of practice is not for our benefit but for the community to remain safe and resilient in times of disaster and to mitigate chances of having casualties,” said Capiz PRDDM officer Esperdion Pelaez.

Village officials and leaders expressed their appreciation of the activities. The involvement of persons with disabilities was an eye-opener for them and made them realize that they must include them from disaster preparedness up to the recovery process.

Members of Capiz State University Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, 61st Third Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, Sigma Police, Sigma Fire Station, and Sigma Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office also joined the drills as evaluators and provided feedback for the revision of the villages’ contingency plans.

As of writing, the villages’ BDRRRMCs are consolidating the evaluators’ feedback and incorporating them in their contingency plans. Handicap International and Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office will continue to guide them in doing so.