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Reaching the unreachable

July 2012

In December 2011, Christian Aid partner Church World Service - Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS-P/A) launched its first Mobile Knowledge Resource Centre (MKRC) -  a truck that contains training resources that travels to remote communities to teach them how to be better prepared for disasters. 

For the last seven months, the MKRC has been travelling to flood-affected villages in remote areas in Thatta District with the objective of ‘reaching the unreachable’.

In January and February alone, 1,063 people received training. Since then, the tour has continued to other villages and schools in disaster-prone areas of the district.

Interactive and engaging workshops

The training sessions have been specifically planned to be interactive and engaging, with enthusiastic and positive feedback from both the participants and the trainers.

Mobile outreach

CWS-P/A is able to reach remote communities and teach them about disaster preparedness.

‘The first-aid training session has increased my knowledge,’ said 14-year-old student Abdul Aziz.

`In flood emergencies we used to just move to higher ground. Now we also know how to make life-saving sandbags. I also learned how we can save ourselves from fires, storms, and earthquakes.’

Training sessions use different techniques – from educational posters to practical activities such as ‘town tours’ where participants identify the places in a community which are most likely to be destroyed or damaged by disasters.

`I liked the session about boats; I tried to build one.’ said nine-year-old Hira. The boat-making workshops use locally available polystyrene, bamboo sticks, and rope and emphasise the need for communities to stay up-to-date by listening to weather and news forecasts.

Safer houses

The MKRC visited some communities in Thatta District where CWS-P/A have also been implementing housing projects. Special sessions on aspects of housing design and construction enabled community members to see first-hand how to build high-quality, safe, disaster-resistant houses.

Flood resilient communities

The 2010 floods killed two thousand people and made millions homeless. The MKRC has now trained thousands of people who were affected. If floods or other disasters were to come again, these communities are much better prepared - equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to save lives.

The work has been so successful that CWS-P/A is planning another MKRC tour after Ramadan, helping even more communities to become less vulnerable to disasters such as flooding.

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