"When Cyclone Phailin hit Odisha one million people were evacuated with minimum loss of human lives. We are happy that collectively we were able to achieve a greater degree of preparedness. However, there is still work to be done since despite limited loss of life, the impact on the lives of the people living in these parts was massive and we need to make sure that the physical damage is reduced by building smarter," said
Another key component of this project will be to improve urban infrastructure in Berhampur, the largest city in Ganjam district and enhance the technical capacity of the state for managing future disaster risks. With over 40% of Berhampur's 350,000 inhabitants living in more than 200 slums across the city, the project will focus on improving the living condition of the people living in this city with better drainage system to reduce floods, better streets and street lighting, and access to improved water and sanitation services. Work will be undertaken in about 80 slums in Berhampur city covering a population of about 30,000.
Apart from reconstruction, the project will focus on disaster risk mitigation. It will strengthen the capacity of OSDMA for better risk mitigation, preparedness, and disaster response, in line with global best practices. This component will also help enhance OSDMA's role in coordinating disaster risk mitigation related activities with other line departments and integrate it into the overall development work of the state.
Some of the activities that will be undertaken under this component include establishing an integrated complex comprising of OSDMA, Geographical Information System (GIS) cell equipped with a decision support center, Emergency Operation Center and a training center; enhancing the capacity of the OSDMA by providing them specialized dedicated manpower and hiring technical experts in the areas of disaster risk management, hydro-met systems, risk assessment and financing, structural engineering, remote sensing and GIS; and enabling the affected marginalized communities to cope with survival risks posed by natural calamities through community-based initiatives.
"While reconstruction is a key component of the project, globally there is evidence that some disaster recovery programs have focused heavily on rebuilding infrastructure and not enough on better adaptation and preparedness. This project will also focus on better adaptation and preparedness for the future through complementary investments on enhancing risk mitigation capabilities of the responsible institutions. This can not only help in saving lives and livelihoods but also in long-term disaster risk reduction," said
The project will be financed by a credit from the
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