Stories of Change

Deki facilitates a session on the Noemuke village Early Warning System. Photo: CWS

Preparing to better weather the storm

“Before I joined a gathering in my village, I didn’t know anything about disaster risk reduction,” said Deki Baker from Noemuke village in West Timor, Indonesia. “I only knew that my village floods every year, and that floods affect our community badly”.

“Disaster Risk Reduction” refers to programs that ensure that communities will be more prepared for an more resilient in the face of disasters. In small and remote villages, first response in the event of an emergency often falls to the community members themselves.

Today, Deki is a disaster resilient village (DESTANA) facilitator in the CWS-supported SOLIDARITAS project, and in this role he engages in many preparedness activities. Often, taking simple steps to prepare a community can make a big difference. One activity Deki facilitated was to establish an early warning system and evacuation routes because, in his own words, “I now know that we can reduce disaster risks and impacts by preparing beforehand, and one easy way to do that is to map out evacuation routes to safe places. So, with others, I have made and posted 33 evacuation route signs to two evacuation sites in the village.” And now Noemuke can avoid some of the worst effects when the next flood, or other disaster, comes.