Transformation of communities to become champions for the sustainable management of disaster risks


In whatever corner of the world we may be, all interventions in the area of CBDRM imply cultivating a concern for human safety in the minds of men and women faced with disasters whether natural or human-induced, because according to the experts and analysts, the societies of all the countries can suffer damage and losses, as seen in the recent examples of the four major hurricanes in September 2017, namely Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria.

It is with this in mind that our pilot project of CBDRM, whose main focus was an early warning system and community resilience, took place on the southern peninsula, in the municipalities of Chantal and Port-à- Piment. The project took place after hurricane Matthew in October 2016, which swept across the peninsula and unleashed its force for almost 36 hours with winds blowing at about 220 km/h, causing not only floods, landslides and the collapse of bridges and roads, but also enormous losses of human lives and economic losses. This on-month pilot project supported by the Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) under the auspices of UNDP and IOM, in partnership with the local CSOs and elected representative, coincided with the International Disaster Reduction Day in connection with the second Sendai campaign, and promoting the Sendai framework.

Several activities were undertaken to give vulnerable people tools to save their lives before and during disasters and techniques to recover after an extraordinary event.


From the planning stage to implementation, the strategy and tactics developed in CBDRM have been designed to sustainably integrate risk reduction measures in the various locations of the communities, using knowledge acquired, especially on the conceptual approach to DRM. Around an expanded vision, everything was concentrated to take into account the impacts of future disasters and other human-induced shocks, while maintaining a link with the emergency response. The local elected representatives, from small groups to municipal authorities, were showing responsible behaviour in bilateral consultations and providing local governance to reach success. Under the auspices of UNASCAD in connection with DPC and the CSOs, it was possible to define a perfectly harmonious and well-blended coordination, defined by multiple micro-adjustments when performing various established tasks. The total involvement of the communities, where each participant is involved, is seen as a key element in the initiative, not of UNASCAD, but of the community itself. The promoters are only acting in an orderly and coordinated manner.
In all major global news, endangered groups are better known as vulnerable groups exposed to disaster risks, such as children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, elderly people, people with reduced mobility and those with HIV/AIDS, cholera and other diseases of hybrid and vector origin, and are on the agenda to be taken into account in all action plans (projects, programmes and activities). This is so true that the three major global instruments, namely the Sendai framework, the SDGs and COP21 are making a major reference to it, from the planning stage to the execution in the field. During the exercise of this pilot experience, in large part, everything was taken into account - which facilitated a very good interaction.
Several thinking-and-sharing workshops were organized by trained community leaders rather than specialists from UNASCAD.


Community actors have been enthusiastic because they have been involved in several exchanges on the best techniques that can, on the one hand, enable them to be better prepared for the arrival of a disaster and, on the other, to make their communities resilient. This project, pending funding, could be extended to several municipalities of the Great South and also in the Great North of Haiti, recently brushed by the hurricanes Irma and Maria.
This pilot experience has contributed to changing the lives of community residents. With regard to results, the potential leaders of the communities have taken responsibility, seeking to expand their influence in their communities and to work on new parameters that bring the talents of other actors to serve their communities.