The pilot project “Community-Based Approaches to Flood Management in Thailand and Lao PDR”, which was carried out from June 2013 to March 2016, has been completed. Funded by USAID and WMO, and implemented by Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), the project aimed at improving self-help capabilities by strengthening community resilience in prevention, preparedness, response and recovery through the Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction approaches and practices to flood events.
The project ensured a gender-inclusive approach in its community-based flood risk management activities. In both target communities, Participatory flood Risk Assessments (PRAs) were conducted through the Hazard, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment tools involving community leaders and members, with women, elderly, children, and Community Civil Defense Volunteers, as well as officials from provincial and district governments among the participants.
In Thailand, PRAs were held in Thailand from 16 to 17 December 2013, followed by the formation of Community-Based Flood Management Committees (CBFMCs) in February and March 2014. Clear roles and responsibilities were identified for each member before, during and after. They prepared a draft plan and charts, which were shared with community members and local authorities. During a simulation exercise in August 2014, the plan and maps were tested and revised accordingly with the support of local and national authorities, whose representatives also participated in the training and simulation exercise. The training was so successful that it was proposed to extend the development of local plans and maps to another nine communities. For demonstration purposes, in one of the communities,12 closed-circuit television sets and four spotlights were installed with financial support from the project. An additional four closed-circuit television sets were set up by the community chairman at his own expense.
In Lao, a training on Community-Based Flood Risk Management took place from 17 to 21 November 2014, encompassing the PRA as a field exercise on the provision of flood monitoring and early warning. Community flood management plans were drafted in January 2015, elaborating on names and tasks of CBFMC members.
In the framework of the project, implementing partner Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) produced two training manuals reflecting the experiences in Thailand and Lao PDR. APFM sponsored the translations of the original manuals, which were in Thai and Lao. A publication titled “Voices from the Field” was also produced to collect feedback from the project beneficiaries.