Local stakeholders involved in self-assessment of DRM capacities in Ungheni

On 11 and 12 October 2018 the second local Support and Advice Meeting (SAM) of the CapaCities project took place in Ungheni. The program started with the meeting of the Local Working Group, which includes representatives of all relevant local entities. At the start of the meeting, Mr. Alexandru Ambros, Mayor of Ungheni, talked about the importance of updating Ungheni’s Sectoral Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy and pointed out: “Ungheni is subject to several risks of natural and technological disasters, but for us it is essential to identify the most frequent and highest impact ones and to take steps for the development of concrete actions and measures to prevent, prepare, intervene and recover.” Thereafter, the DRM focal points of Ungheni presented the results of identifying the disaster risks specific to Ungheni and their prioritization, as well as the methodology for the self-assessment of local Disaster Risk Management capacities.

During the meeting, the members of the Local Working Group practiced in performing the self-assessment, using the tool developed by the Core Team. The preliminary results revealed that the biggest gaps in the current capacities can be found in disaster risk assessment, DRM planning and recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation. The members of the working group found that there is a clear legal framework at national and local level, but the lack of a National Strategy is delaying the application of common standards for disaster risk planning and management.

The participants were also made familiar with the use of scenario analysis to develop a “risk matrix” that shows the impact and likelihood of local risks. The local working grouping practiced this methodology on five natural hazards (floods, earthquake, landslides land, climate change, heavy rainfall with hail) and three technological risks (road accidents, fires, unexploded munitions), to identify scenarios, develop a risk matrix and prioritize the risks for Ungheni municipality. Nico van Os, project manager of CapaCities, concluded: “For an optimal local process of developing a holistic DRM strategy, it is necessary for all stakeholders to participate and get involved at all stages, so that you finally have a participatory strategy that fits with the needs of the entire community.”

In the second half of the day, a meeting of the Municipal Commission for Emergency Situations was held to discuss the current situation and the measures taken to reduce disaster risks and to cooperate with citizens. The second day, representatives of the CapaCities Core Team and the local DRM focal points participated in simulation exercises organized by the Ungheni Exceptional Situations Directorate in coordination with other entities involved in the prevention, intervention and disaster recovery. The exercises included disaster response in case of earthquakes, epizootics, industrial accidents with gas leakage and floods.

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