Nammal Namukkāyi

Rebuild Kerala Initiative

Changes needed in Local community to build a viable kerala

Local community and Resilience

Local communities are at the center of the Rebuild Kerala Initiative’s approach towards shifting from reactive emergency management to disaster risk reduction. Community-based disaster risk management reduces vulnerabilities and strengthens people’s capacities to cope with hazards, which seeks to: (1) reduce vulnerabilities and increase capacities of vulnerable groups and communities to cope with, prevent, or minimize loss and damage to life, property, and the environment, (2) minimize human suffering, and (3) hasten recovery.

Involving local communities in risk reduction and mitigation will reduce and limit the impact of natural hazards on population, infrastructure, and property through structural measures such as bridges, protective dikes, embankments, and safety building design and nonstructural measures like community risk assessment, community risk reduction planning, public awareness, food security programs, group saving, cooperatives, strengthening community disaster management organizations and advocacy on disasters and development issues, legislation, and land-use zoning, among others.

It is important to strengthen the capacity of the local community to receive, understand and react to early warnings through public education campaigns and behavioral change communication drives. Local community groups including children and youth should become key stakeholders for early warning and awareness-raising.

Preservation and restoration of marsh, floodplains, and other natural systems; creation of living shorelines and other nature-based solutions; and integration of green resources (trees, green streets, green roofs, etc.) into the urban environment can increase community resilience while providing multiple environmental, economic, and social benefits. Planning for post-disaster recovery should use green infrastructure in combination with appropriate structural protection measures to reduce potential risks; specify how short-term recovery will address trees and other green resources; and set the framework for incorporating green infrastructure into long-term recovery. The result will be healthier communities that are more resilient to future disasters.

Recent research has demonstrated that ‘social capital’ — that is, interpersonal relations, social networks, a shared sense of identity and trust within a community — could serve as the core engine for a swift and robust recovery from disasters. Survivors with strong social networks experience faster recovery and have access to needed information, tools, and assistance. Communities and neighborhoods with little social capital may find themselves unable to keep up with their counterparts with these deep networks.

Given the above context, the following questions may be discussed: -

  1. What are the interventions which can be undertaken by the Government to build community resilience and enhance their disaster preparedness and abilities to mitigate disaster risks? What kind of community awareness campaigns and trainingare required?
  2. If Disaster Resilience Groups were to be constituted from local communities, what are the key considerations to be made? What should be the constitution of such groups, and how should they be trained to upgrade their skills? What are the possible challenges and their solutions?
  3. Are there any community-owned structures available, that could be remodeled and put to use as multi-purpose emergency shelters around which the community (own their own) could constitute and train volunteer groups to serve as Disaster Defense Corps within the society?
  4. If multi-purpose emergency shelters were to be constructed and handed over to the communities with corpus fund for operation and maintenance, what measures should be taken to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of such shelters? What are the specific challenges and possible solutions?

Chief Executive Officer,
Rebuild Kerala Initiative,
1 A,
Calsar Heather Tower,
Opp Hilton Tower Hotel,
Punnen Road,Statue,
Trivandrum 695001


Office: 0471 2517276