Strengthening protection and rescue services in local communities across Bosnia and Herzegovina
11 November 2022
As part of the Joint Program of the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations "Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for Sustainable Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina", an additional two-day training was held in Jahorina for over 60 users of the Disaster Risk Analysis System - DRAS. The training was attended by representatives of the local communities of Banja Luka, Bihać, Bijeljina, Kakanj, Kalesija, Gradačac, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica and Trebinje from the sectors of protection and rescue, education, social and child protection, health and agriculture, as well as members of the entity administrations of civil protection.
"The DRAS platform is extremely important for the sustainable development of our community and BiH. I emphasize the ease of use of this platform, so that every fellow citizen can look at the interactive map and be informed in time about the possible risks of e.g., landslides for their houses, business premises, schools, hospitals and accordingly react and protect themselves as much as possible," explains Elmedin Mehadžić, Coordinator of the DRR Platform in Bihać.
The aim of the training is to improve skills and operation mechanisms that enable local communities in BiH to use scientific analyzes and information on vulnerability when assessing the risk of disasters, as well as effective planning of preventive measures and projects related to disaster risk reduction that should be included in strategic development documents.
" We plan to further improve DRAS, including strategic information and analyzes defined according to the needs of local communities and higher levels of government. We invite all citizens to check on the DRAS platform today and find out whether they live in risky areas. With knowledge, we can protect ourselves and prepare in time, save lives and property, and together build the sustainability of BiH," said Vedran Ibrulj, UNDP Coordinator of the Disaster Risk Reduction Project.
The online Disaster Risk Analysis System provides information on exposure to floods, landslides, earthquakes, and the locations of mine-suspected areas in local communities that are part of the Joint Programme.
"Reducing the negative consequences caused by disasters is possible only if actions are focused on the prevention and management of disaster risks, and this approach should be an integral part of the country's development perspective. DRAS is one of the tools that provides support to competent institutions in risk analysis, and at the same time ensures the necessary level of transparency towards the population in partner local communities. It is very important that DRAS is developed in a way that meets the needs of the institutions, and that it is effectively integrated into the administrative structure in the country," emphasizes Boško Kenjić, Senior Program Officer at the Embassy of Switzerland in BiH.
The DRAS platform provides decision-makers and residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina with unhindered access to data on possible hazards, with the aim of increasing awareness of risks and disaster prevention, and consists of three modules — module 1 is available to the public, and modules 2 and 3 to local authorities, in line with the user rights . The system can be accessed via the website: www.drasinfo.org.
“Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina“ is 7.1 milion KM worth joint programme of the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations (UN), implemented by the UN agencies: UNDP , UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFPA and FAO in partnership with domestic authorities. The Joint Programme aims to address key disaster risk reduction (DRR) priorities identified by 10 local governments and various stakeholders across various sectors: protection and rescue, education, social and child protection, health, and agriculture. The Programme puts special emphasis on improving local DRR coordination mechanisms, as well as affirming risk -informed strategic planning processes with focus on the most vulnerable population groups.