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Meeting with the Principal of DMTC【Myanmar】

On 11th February, SEEDS Asia visited the Principal of the Disaster Management Training Centre in Hinthada District, which is operated by the Disaster Management Department, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement. While SEEDS Asia discussed updates on the current projects and request for strengthened partnership, the Principal shared lessons learnt from the landslide that occurred in Mon State last year and ongoing initiatives after the disaster. Opinions were exchanged on desirable awareness raising activities during peacetime to protect lives, and a visual material that detects landslide risks and sounds alarm, developed by the Centre, was also introduced. In places where landslide and other sediment-related disasters are hard to detect based on certain standards, issuance of timely and localized warning is really a challenge. Under those circumstances and limits, key to encouraging actions to protect lives is visualizing risks with IEC materials and identifying local and indigenous signals where locals tap each other for evacuation. SEEDS Asia therefore proposed hearing from surviving residents of the said landslide about the signs observed before the disaster, along with geological survey and land use assessment. Spontaneously noticing surrounding risks is not a skill that can be earned overnight: but we are strongly determined to work together with the Principal on capacitating people with such abilities. To notice abnormality starts with knowing regularity. Weather observations is one means of it and we have introduced such initiatives in six locations in Myanmar. SEEDS Asia is willing to promote understanding of weather risks and connect it to disaster risk reduction actions in many more places. If you may be able to support us in research and education material development, please do let us know!