In 2002, urban earthquake risk was already high in the five Central Asian republics, and growing quickly due to urban expansion and a vulnerable building stock. Efforts to improve the safety of schools, hospitals, emergency response agencies, and critical lifelines had stalled because of scarce resources and a lack of management experience.
This 3-year project in Almaty, Kazakhstan; Dushanbe, Tajikistan; and Tashkent, Uzbekistan engaged citizens, businesses, community-based NGOs and government agencies to collaborate on stategies that improve earthquake safety in their cities. We also supported local NGOs in the development and dissemination of high quality educational programs and materials for basic disaster awareness, non-structural mitigation, and earthquake-resistant adobe and masonry construction.
City-wide symposia brought together a spectrum of stakeholders to prioritize needs.
Baseline urban risk reports examined norms, urgency of tasks, responsible agencies, applicable laws and current strategies.
Project reports and symposia stimulated policy-level initiatives by national governments.
Regional task forces developed public education and instructor-training materials. Ministries of Education and Health participated in the development of Handbooks on School Disaster Preparedness and Hospital Disaster Preparedness.
Disaster awareness education materials reached over 50% of schoolchildren in Almaty, and similar numbers in Tashkent and Dushanbe.
Residents, non-governmental organizations, public agencies and businesses of Almaty, Dushanbe and Tashkent learned about their high risk from earthquakes and their options to mitigate that risk.
Trained faculty members in environmental and occupational safety, leaders in civil protection, condominium managers, and neighborhood leaders, and staff in non-governmental organizations to be leaders in risk mitigation.
Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Community-Based Seismic Safety in Central Asian Cities
CAR-ESI Community-based Disaster Mitigation Leadership Workshop held in Istanbul in July, 2003.
A report from this project: Lessons for Central Asia: Strategies for Urban Earthquake Risk Management for Central Asian Republics
The workshops that we coordinated prior to this project, to address seismic risk in Central Asia and the Caucasus Region, is described here: Urban Earthquake Risk Management in Central Asia and Caucasus Region
Papers for the workshops are assembled here: Seismic Hazard and Building Vulnerability in Post-Soviet Central Asian Republics (Nato Science Partnership Subseries: 2)
by S.A. King (Editor), Vitaly I. Khalturin (Editor), B.E. Tucker (Editor)