HCMC – A team from the north central province of Nghe An won a disaster risk management contest organized in Vietnam for the first time to honor on-the-spot disaster response teams, who are the local task forces in charge of response action in the first few hours after a disaster strikes.
The “Commune Disaster Risk Management Team” contest was aimed at raising public awareness on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation through the integration of knowledge and skills in the form of an innovative and attractive game show. It also created an appealing playground for disaster risk management forces at the grassroots level.
The contest was jointly organized by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, the Vietnam Television Center in the Central Highlands, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
The final round was held in Danang with the participation of 21 teams representing 21 different provinces. After 11 knockout rounds, the semi-finals and the final, the Nghe An team was crowned as the winner, with the runner-up being the Lam Dong team and the third place going to the Nam Dinh team.
Addressing the award ceremony on October 13, Tran Quang Hoai, general director of the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority, said, “Through this contest, all the team members have been key players who have helped convey valuable knowledge on disaster risk management and reduction. They encourage community participation in disaster risk reduction to minimize the damage caused by disasters and losses.”
Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP resident representative in Vietnam, noted that the local task forces play a critically important role in actively responding to the prevention and control of natural disasters. Therefore, increasing the capacity of task forces is essential.
“I am delighted with the great success of this first-ever competition, which has helped improve the disaster risk knowledge of the local task forces in 21 provinces that are often the first responders to a disaster event and raised the awareness of millions through creative media messaging,” she said.
Up to now, UNDP has worked to strengthen community-based disaster risk mitigation and management by building the capacity of over 32,000 people who are now members of communal disaster response task forces.