[…] That’s how, associations and organizations have decided to integrate young people into disaster risk reduction programs and projects. As is the case in Madagascar.
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Disaster risk reduction: Malagasy youth get involved
Still, it is encouraging to see young Malagasy people working to bring about positive change in the Big Island, each trying to take action in the areas in which they have specialized. Sanjy Raoelisoa is a leader within MYSD (Malagasy Youth for Sustainable Development), a non-profit organization working for social development.
MYSD was the initiator of the tsunami awareness training, which took place on 18-19 February 2020 in Toamasina, in partnership with UNDRR, BNGRC and AYAB.
He explains why the organization decided to take this initiative.
“This is the first time that tsunami awareness training has taken place. After a study, we chose Toamasina because it is one of the localities vulnerable to the tsunami. Indeed, the impact of climate change is increasingly being felt. And it is our responsibility to raise awareness and understanding of the issue among the population, for there is no escaping it”he testified.
Tsunami awareness training has thus seen the massive participation of young people. Two days of training in which 57 young people from institutions, associations, universities and other youth networks on the Big Island participated.
During these two days, these young people were thus able to discover the generalities but also the risks related to the tsunami to which Madagascar is exposed, as well as the measures to be taken in case of danger materialization.
However, as Sitraka Ranoeliarivao, Head of Information Collection and Processing Service, BNGRC Brain, explained, the Big Island is unlikely to be hit by a tsunami.
“The risks are low. The sources of the tsunamis for Madagascar are Indonesia and Makran. From these sources, the maximum magnitude that can possibly be reached is 9.4. The impact of a tsunami of this intensity on our coasts is small. The ocean level could rise by up to one meter at the most. But if the magnitude is beyond 9.4, then there, the ocean level will rise above one meter and the waters will flood the city.”he explains.
According to the information received, the South-East of the Big Island is the most vulnerable to tsunamis. This area includes Vatomandry, Mahanoro, Mananjary, Nosy Varika, up to Faux Cap.
According to the latter’s explanations, it was in 2004 that a Tsunami alert last took place in Madagascar, on the shores of Toamasina. It had no major impact, but panic quickly spread to the inhabitants of the province. There was more fear than harm!
Dealing with fear, dealing with evil
During disasters, among the challenges for the institutions in charge of their management are fear management and damage management. Two very distinct modules to be mastered in all professionalism, calm and cool, for the authorities in charge of evacuating the population.
According to Sitraka Ranoeliarivao, there are five steps to be taken during a tsunami warning: the study of the number of hours available for evacuation (7 hours for Madagascar), determination of the rallying point and the hosting site, determination of the means of transportation.
After the tsunami, two mandatory measures must also be taken: the re-inspection of places of passage before any rehousing of the inhabitants, including health risk assessment, environmental, etc; reconstruction if there is material damage.
Translated by Naval Louiva