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                Disaster Management Community


Solution Exchange for the Disaster Management
Community
Consolidated Reply
FOR COMMENTS: Draft Kerala State Disaster Management
    Policy
Compiled by G Padmanabhan, Resource Person and Nupur Arora, Research Associate
Issue Date: 10 September 2009



From Ajith Chacko, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority,
Trivandrum
Posted 11 October 2009
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority is at present engaged in drafting the Kerela
State Disaster Management Policy. The policy keeps appropriate balance and
interrelationship with the National Policy on Disaster Management and Disaster Management Act,
2005 and also ensures co-ordination amidst all agencies such as National Disaster Management
Authority and National Disaster Management Framework related to Disaster Management. To
view the draft plan click: http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/drm/cr/res10090901.doc (Size:
73 KB)

Following are the sections of the policy:
 Introduction
 Need for a policy
 Aim
 Objectives
 Policy, institutional and techno – legal frame works for disaster management in
     the state.
 Kerala state disaster management policy - approach and strategy
 Conclusion

In order to develop an all-encompassing and effective policy document we request member of
the Disaster Management Community to kindly go through the document and provide
suggestions on areas of improvement.

Specifically welcome any comments on Chapter 5 and 6. Also we would like to know if:
 The policy provides clear guiding principles and strategy for Disaster management
    Components of the policy that call for further debate and thinking such as , the issue
     of gender and social inclusion, involvement of no state actors like corporate and academic
     institutions, etc.
    Does the policy provide broad guidelines to support the state in preparing a road map for the
     state
    What can be the major challenges ahead in the implementation/operationalisation of
     the Policy

Your contribution will help us in publishing & practicing a DM policy that may become a
model document for many other state governments.
Thanking you,



Responses were received, with thanks, from
1.  Mike Adams, Health Communications Resources, United Kingdom
2.  Munas Kalden, United Nations Development Programme, Sri Lanka
3.  Sampurnananda Mahapatra, United Nations Development Programme, New Delhi
4.  Suresh Kumar.S, National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology
    Trivandrum
5. P. Chandran, Disaster Watch, Bangalore
6. Aditi Umrao, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow
7. Nandita Hazarika, United Nations Development Programme, Assam
8. Biswajit Mohapatra, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong
9. Gyana Ranjan Das, State Government of Orissa, Bhubneswar
10. Sebastian T V, Concern Worldwide India, Bhubaneswar
11. V. Kurien Baby, District Collector, Thrissur
12. N M Prusty, Disaster Mangement Support Project India, Sphere India. New Delhi
13. Satheesh KK Sridharan, Consultant, Chennai
14. Imon Ghosh, METRO Cash & Carry India, Bangalore
15. Arun Keshav, United Nations Development Programme, Dhanbad
16. K. J Devasia, Senior Manager Emergency & Business Continuity Management,
    Bangalore International Airport Lt, Bangalore
17. Sajan Venniyoor, RedAct Media, New Delhi
18. Shachi Grover, UNFPA, New Delhi
19. Rudra Prasad Nandi, Sea Explorers' Institute, Kolkata
20. Kalika Mohapatra, Independent, Bhubneswar
21. Ashok Malhotra, United Nations Development Programme, New Delhi

Further contributions are welcome!


Summary of Responses
Related Resources
Responses in Full


Summary of Responses
To develop an all-encompassing and effective Disaster Management Policy for Kerala, the State
Disaster Management Authority shared the draft DM Policy with members for their inputs.
Participants congratulated the Kerala Government for preparing the policy through public
discussions.
Kerala experiences various types of disaster starting from moderate intensity earthquakes and
landslides to flood and tsunami. The state is classified as ‗multi-hazard prone‘. In view of this,
members welcomed the State Governments initiative to prepare a Disaster Management Policy.

Discussants especially applauded the plan for liking mitigation and preparedness into
development initiatives and paying special attention to women and vulnerable communities
during and post disaster intervention. They appreciated the plan for being elaborate on need and
aim of the Policy and roles of various stakeholders in different phases of disaster management.

Members provided comprehensive inputs on the overall policy document and detailed
suggestions on various sections.

Overall respondents felt that although the draft plan is very comprehensively drafted, it can be
more expansive and perspicuous on the institutional linkages for research based resources,
particularly in aspects like mitigation and adaptation, pollution management, design of
infrastructure for preparedness, mechanisms of an innovative nature for delivery of aid

They suggested articulating the vision and goal of the policy in more specific terms. Apparently
the policy is striving to achieve ‗a safer community and a better quality of life in the State
through holistic and comprehensive state- of art emergency and disaster services’

On the approach, members recommended the policy to be more inclusive, in order to include
and human induced disasters. Loss of lives and livelihood, destruction of social, physical and
natural capitals from acts of nature and action and/or inaction of humans are disasters. Therefore
they felt that the policy must have scope to deal with all such eventualities.

Respondents discussed the important areas that the policy needs to address. They recommended
addressing the issue of Transferring disaster resistant construction technology by
capacity building of construction fraternity (engineers, architects, mason, site supervisors,
builders, developers and town planners). Also they suggested establishing Effective Disaster
Risk Transfer Mechanisms (Disaster Risk Insurance). The felt that the policy can
promote/encourage insurance coverage to state-level assets and infrastructures for effective
transfer of disaster risk to insurance and re-insurance sectors and launch micro-insurance
schemes for the poor.

Apart from the above, members suggested the Disaster Management policy to:
 Indicate basic principles of disaster management like adoption of an inclusive approach with
   focus and various marginalised groups including peoples with disabilities, women, children,
   orphans, elderly people, their varying needs and other aspects.
 Define Prevention, Mitigation & Preparedness.
 Include specific necessary administrative reforms which are key factors in the efficient
   discharge of public responsibilities in any situation.
 Provide practical measures to ensure income opportunities to affected people immediately in
   the aftermath of disasters
 State role of and relation with UN agencies, multilateral aid agencies, and volunteers based
   organisations like Red Cross and others.
 Indicate the level of Disasters (L0, L1, L2, and L3) and the response strategy.
 Highlight the linkages with other state governments, knowledge institutions, specialised
   agencies like state response team, deployment of army, navy, air force, national disaster
   response team etc.
 Include a section outlining a complaints handling mechanism in respect of the policy.
   Recommend adoption of suitable latest technology, technology upgradation/ latest
    knowledge/ information for DRR with zero time lag
The basic challenge in developing a Disaster Management Strategic Policy Framework, members
mentioned, is in designing effective tools to enhance governance and accountability, and to
promote integrated whole-of-government solutions. What is required it tremendous capacity
creation along with technical assistance for forging alliances, coordination, partnership and
convergence. This, members felt must be given adequate importance.

Finally the policy document may also incorporate performance indicators for key elements
which will help significantly in ensuring enhanced accountability.

Participants also shared Disaster Risk Management framework of Sri Lanka and Uttar Pradesh for
relevant points to be incorporated in the Kerala Sate Disaster Management Policy.

                          *********************
This section outlines the salient points discussed by members, classified according to the policy‘s
chapters. It also includes suggestions to add in the draft policy.

3. & 4. Aim and Objectives
 Can cover the need for building capacities accompanied with changes required in the
    administrative systems and procedures that would allow preparation/response in an efficient
    and effective manner in case of disasters.
 Mention Gender sensitivity, social inclusion and people with special needs n the objectives as
    well as various other sections of the plan. This group should include children, pregnant and
    lactating mothers, the aged, and people with disabilities, young girls and boys, people living
    with HIV/AIDS etc

5. Policy, Institutional and Techno – Legal Frame Works for Disaster Management in
the State.
 With institutionalization under the DM Act extablich mechanisms with respect to how disaster
    management structures would be empowered to respond to any disaster and how they
    would work in cohesion with other structures established under the nationally and state
    sponsored policies, programmes and schemes and
 How the need for more enhanced understanding of the causes and potential responses
    towards the impact of climate change on disasters; and need for evolving an integrated
    framework to address the issues of disasters and climate change would be addressed.

    5.4 District Disaster Management Authority: Mention roles of line procedures such as
    sub-divisional and Panchayat level mechanism, and the responsible nodal officers at these
    levels.

    5.6 The Department of Revenue and Disaster Management: It is indicated that the
    Department of Revenue and DM will be the nodal Department for management of disasters. In
    this context, specify different types of disasters. In most of the states, various state level
    government departments are nodal department for management of specific type of disasters.
    For example, agriculture department is handles drought where as Health Department becomes
    the nodal department for health related disasters (epidemics etc). It is mentioned that the
    Secretary of the Department of Revenue and Disaster Management will be the Special Relief
    Commissioner (SRC). This can be elaborated his role and relationship and activities vis-a-vis the
    KSDMA.
     5.8 Emergency Operation Centres: Have central EOC at State level, and district level
         EOCs at each district head quarters with adequate mutual connectivity. Or three state
         level EOCs at strategic locations for appropriate coordination.

     5.9 Institutes for Disaster Management:
      Address the issue disaster management in school and college curriculum and capacity
         building of various task forces and interest groups to create a culture of disaster
         management in the State.
      Include awareness, education, training and capacity building in hazard risk management
         in education and training policies of the state.
      Mention the role for State SIRD, State ATI and other departmental training institutes

     5.10 Stakeholders in Disaster Management: Specific mention to Air-Rail-Sea
     authorities, as they have crucial roles to play.

6. Kerala State Disaster Management Policy - Approach And Strategy

    6.1 Pre Disaster Phase – Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness
      II. Prevention:
       Include Disaster risk reduction as part of prevention.
       Identify measures to address issues arising out of global warming and climate change.
       Make SDMAs the nodal agency to do a mandatory disaster risk and vulnerability
          assessment for all the ongoing and future development programmes including
          infrastructure development, both in public and private sectors.
       Put in place systems and procedures to monitor its recommendations and ensure
          compliance.
      III. Preparedness: Community Radio can play a role in preparedness via education.
.
     6.1.1 Key Activities in Pre Disaster Phase
     1. Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Analysis: Mention Community‘s role in hazard, risk
         and vulnerability analysis and mapping. The analysis should lie with community and
         village panchayat.
     5. Incident Command System: Make State Level official the Incident Commander for
         better execution of the role by every department during a disaster, even if it affects only
         one district.
     6. Mainstreaming of Disaster Management into Development: Recommend each
         state level department to prepare their own state level Department wise Disaster
         Management Plan and earmark funds in the departmental budget for disaster risk
         reduction activities.
     8. Community Based Disaster Management
         Women‘s role in disasters mitigation and village disaster management committee should
         be ensured.

     6.1.2 Pre Disaster Phase – Roles of relevant stakeholders
      In each phase role of stakeholders has been elaborated. Since Policy is a guiding
         principle only, therefore it may perhaps be reviewed whether this is to be incorporated in
         the policy document or in the DM Plans.
      Also Panchayati Raj Institutions can play a greater role in disaster management (in all
         the three phases) than what is mentioned in the policy draft, including Co-chair position
         in the District and Block disaster management authorities.
      Add roles and responsibilities of local authorities in the Institutional set-up

     III. District Collector/District Disaster Management Authority:
       Facilitate training and awareness programmes for communities involving voluntary and
        non government organizations. District Coordination Committees of NGO‘s and corporate
        agencies should be set up.
       Ensure the installation of early warning systems, emergency facilities and equipments,
        and communication systems in the district and confirm that they well maintained.
       Closely interact with different agencies and furnish information and inputs on status of
        preparedness, early warnings and mitigation efforts on a regular basis to Kerala State
        Disaster Management Authority and Relief Commissioner.
       Practice the flow of communication to the public. Use community radio, commercial and
        AIR stations to disseminate "educational programs" about disaster in the same way the
        plan would provide disaster response info in a real disaster.

   Since Kerala is very strong in decentralisation of power, decision making system should
   actively involve elected zilla parishads, block panchayats and village bodies in implementing
   at grassroots level.

   V. Non- Governmental Organisations and Community Groups
   The significance of voluntary and civil society organizations in disaster management is well
   noted in the draft. It will be good to specify their representation in the state, district and
   block level disaster management bodies.

6.2.1 Key Activities in Disaster Response Phase
Include the issue of Coordination during response phase. This will ensure effective response and
better management of resources. The policy may recommend various coordination committee
meetings at the state and district level, who are the members and highlight their roles and
duties.

   4. Restoration of basic infrastructure and essential services:
   Members felt that an immediate priority after a disaster is to bring the basic infrastructure
   facilities like road, transportation, power supply, communication systems etc. and essential
   services of government departments into operating condition. They suggested that district
   administration and local authorities could work in close coordination with relevant
   Government departments to restore the same to normal operating condition.

   7. Flow of Information: Agencies to come up with various strategies to ensure precise
   communication because telecom services also may get affected during natural disasters.


Related Resources
Recommended Documentation

Roadmap for a safer Srilanka (from Munas Kalden, United Nations Development Programme,
Sri Lanka)
Policy; by; Disaster Management Centre, Ministry of Disaster Management; Publisher; Srilanka;
December 2005;
Available at http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/drm/cr/res10090902.pdf. (Pdf 3 MB)
         The Disaster Management Policy of Srilanka; can be a reference document for preparing
         Kerala State Disaster Management Policy.

Uttar Pradesh State Disaster Management Policy (Draft) (from Aditi Umrao, Government
of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow)
Policy; by Government of Uttar Pradesh; Lucknow;
Available at http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/drm/cr/res10090903.pdf (Pdf 2 MB)
        The Disaster Management Policy of Srilanka; can be a reference document for preparing
        Kerala State Disaster Management Policy

The Disaster Management Act 2005 (Nupur Arora, Research Associate)
Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi; 2005
http://www.nidm.net/DM_act2005.pdf (PDF Size: 1.67 MB)
Act covers the whole country and addresses the issue of management of disasters and plans for
disaster preparedness, including coordination before and after disasters


Responses in Full
Mike Adams, Health Communications Resources, United Kingdom
I have read your draft plan, congratulations on a good draft!

HCR trains broadcasters to build a Rapid Response Radio capability. Our local partner, Feba
Radio has a Rapid Response team called FIRST Response - India with a radio kit and team
trained to set up an emergency radio station within 72 hours of a disaster. This was
demonstrated by a test deployment to Tamil Nadu in June 2008 and then used in the Bihar Flood
response later that year. A few comments are added below regarding your plan.

6.1 Pre Disaster Phase – Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness

III. Preparedness:- Measures which enable the government, communities and individuals to
respond rapidly and effectively to disaster situations and ensure that communities and services
are capable of coping with the effect of disasters.

Community Radio can play a role in preparedness via education.

6.1.2 Pre Disaster Phase – Roles of relevant stakeholders
The District Collector should:-

   Facilitate training and awareness programmes for communities involving voluntary and non
    government organizations. District Coordination Committees of NGO‘s and corporate agencies
    should be set up.
   Ensure the installation of early warning systems, emergency facilities and equipments, and
    communication systems in the district and confirm that they well maintained.
   Closely interact with different agencies and furnish information and inputs on status of
    preparedness, early warnings and mitigation efforts on a regular basis to Kerala State
    Disaster Management Authority and Relief Commissioner.

Practice the flow of communication to the public. Use community radio, commercial and AIR
stations to diseminate "educational programs" about disaster in the same way the plan would
provide disaster response info in a real disaster. We would welcome an invitation for FIRST
Response to come and demonstrate their capability and take part in any training exercises. It is
radio's role to help the District Collectors office send out information to the affected community in
an efficient way.

6.2.1 Key Activities in Disaster Response Phase

4. Restoration of basic infrastructure and essential services :-
An immediate priority after a disaster is to bring the basic infrastructure facilities like road,
transportation, power supply, communication systems etc. and essential services of
government departments into operating condition. The district administration and local
authorities would work in close coordination with relevant Government departments to restore
the same to normal operating condition.

This is where FIRST Response can help with a radio station in a suitcase that can be easily
deployed. Indian NGO - NOMAD is also a good resource here.

The main area of concern is the provision of an FM license for temporary operation in disaster
response. It would be very helpful for the KERALA STATE DISASTER MANAGEMENT
AUTHORITY to request the support of the NDMA in streamlining this process. In the Bihar
flooding it was not possible to get an FM license so SW radio was used instead. These are issues
that can be resolved now, before the next disaster comes.

Contact information:

FIRST Response India
Suma Emmanuel < susam98@hotmail.com >
Feba India
Phone: +91 9741128843


Munas Kalden, United Nations Development Programme, Sri Lanka
I am sharing the Disaster Risk Management framework of Sri Lanka, developed in the post
tsunami disaster context. You may find this useful. To view the framework click:
http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/drm/cr/res10090902.pdf. (Pdf Size 3 MB)


Sampurnananda Mahapatra, United Nations Development Programme, New Delhi
Good to see the effort of Kerala Government on drafting State Disaster Management Policy. I
would comment on two areas on following backdrop.

Kerala experiences various types of disaster starting from moderate intensity earthquakes and
landslides to flood and tsunami. The state is classified as ‗multi-hazard prone‘ by the Building
Materials and Technology Promotion Council, an autonomous institution under the Ministry of
Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. As per the earthquake vulnerability map prepared by the
council, the State falls under Zone III, where moderate intensity earthquakes are likely. The risk
factor means Thiruvananthapuram has the potential to witness an earthquake with an intensity
of 6.5 on the Richter scale, similar to the one that shook Latur/Bhuj. Nearly 96.9 per cent of the
State falls in the cyclone zone, with wind speed of 140 to 158 km/hr likely to hit the coasts.
Around 16,000 sq km of the State is vulnerable to landslide while 14.8 percent of the total land
area is prone to flood. Around 16 per cent of the population of the State is vulnerable to tsunami
waves, since most of the low lands in the State are having an altitude of only 4-6 m.

In view of above, the draft policy appears to have paid inadequate attention in
following two concerned areas:

1.    Transfer of disaster resistant construction technology by capacity building of
      construction fraternity (engineers, architects, mason, site supervisors, builders,
      developers and town planners)
      Training & capacity building of practicing people
        Training & capacity building of future generation

2.   Establishment of Effective Disaster Risk Transfer Mechanism (Disaster Risk
     Insurance)

Disaster Management Policy for Capacity Building of Construction Fraternity:

The damages to housing sector in the wake of even moderate earthquake, cyclone or slightly
longer duration floods clearly indicates very high levels of vulnerability of the built environment
and low levels of preparedness in the country including Kerala. This is a direct consequence of
the fact that little or no technical knowledge has gone into design and construction of houses,
buildings and infrastructure to withstand against disaster. Traditionally, disaster resistant design
and construction practices have not been part of course curriculum of undergraduate courses in
Civil Engineering and Architecture. As a consequence, most of practicing engineers, architects in
the state have little or nil inputs on disaster resistant construction engineering.

Similarly, the masons are the architects and engineers of the rural population. They are usually
trained in an informal way by beginning their career as assistants to senior masons. The capacity
of such masons depends a lot on the senior masons‘ skills. It has been observed that most of
them do not possess the required capacity to build disaster resistant buildings, which is evident
from the devastation in couple of major disasters such as earthquake of Latur, Uttarkashi,
Chamoli and Bhuj, Tsunami of Indian Ocean and cyclone of Orissa . Many buildings collapsed
due to non-compliance with basic safety rules. The phenomenal increase in the unskilled labour
force in the construction industry necessitates the initiation of an appropriate strategy to
strengthen the capacity of the supervisory staff and masons in disaster-resistant building
techniques and retrofitting techniques.

Therefore, Disaster Management Policy of Kerala need to address following issues:

    Launching of training programmes for capacity building of practicing engineers,
     architects and masons.
    Introduction of course-curricula on disaster resistant housing technology in
     undergraduate courses of engineering and architecture colleges running under
     State level universities and councils
    Launching of dedicated stream on disaster resistant masonry practice in
     Industrial Training Institutes.


Policy for Disaster Risk Transfer Mechanism (Risk Insurance/Micro Insurance):

There is growing interest in the potential of insurance as part of an effective risk-management
strategy. Insurance does not reduce the immediate impacts of disaster, but by covering risk in
exchange for a premium payment, it gives compensation against losses. People affected by a
disaster benefit from the contributions of the many others who are not affected and thus receive
compensation that is greater than their premium payments. Natural disasters can put
considerable pressure on public finances through various channels. For instance, governments
typically face a weakened revenue base after a disaster. In addition, tax administration and
collection may be hampered by the government in post-disaster phase. At the same time, the
government is also likely to face increased pressures on spending, typically on short-term
disaster relief operations in the direct aftermath of a catastrophe. Furthermore the government
may have to restore public infrastructure (including roads and bridges, airports, harbors, and
public buildings). Beyond these, the government may face pressures to provide compensation or
financial support to (certain segments of) the population—and sometimes the business sector—in
order to alleviate its plight when the private sector faces resource constraints. For example,
oftentimes the government will be called upon—or even be bound by law—to restore damaged or
destroyed housing. Insurance mechanisms can potentially help in alleviating such budgetary
pressures from natural disasters.

The Indian state machinery tend to rely on post-disaster financing in particular in the form of
central grants and concessional loans from donors and support from international financial
institutions. Though financial flows after a disaster may sometimes be sufficient to recover the
losses caused by natural disasters, reliance on such flows has considerable disadvantages. Post
disaster financing can take considerable time and it leaves countries highly dependent on the
benevolence of foreign donors. Insurance, in contrast, would diminish the reliance on post
disaster financing and secure the needed resources in advance. The experience in high-income
countries, in particular the United States and Japan, has shown that many natural perils are
insurable, and markets for disaster risk insurance are well established in those countries.
Depending on the nature of the risks, trends in insurance pricing, and the available resources in
the country involved, donor contributions may still be needed. But such a shift from post-disaster
financing to risk-insurance financing would still have important benefits for the States.

Micro insurance is one more type of risk transfer mechanism to cover low-income clients, i.e.
poors. By providing timely financial assistance after a disaster, it reduces the long-term
consequences of disasters. However, Instead of insurance, the poor often rely on savings, selling
or mortgaging their land and assets, or money lenders. Furthermore, the poor are often exposed
to multiple shocks such as illness and natural hazards at the same time. Without savings or
family support, the affected poor may further be trapped into vicious circle of poverty in post-
disaster phase as they take high-interest loans or default on existing loans, hence sell assets and
livestock to pay back the loan amount. On the other hand, micro insurance can prevent a
disaster victim from falling into vicious cycle of poverty by providing low-income households,
farmers, and businesses with access to post disaster liquidity, thus securing their livelihoods and
providing for reconstruction. Moreover, insurance can encourage investment in disaster
prevention, if insurers offer lower premiums in the exchange risk-reducing behavior from client
such as retrofitting of houses, disaster resistant building construction. Thus, arguably, micro
insurance can be seen as an effective risk transfer mechanism as well as an integral part of an
overall disaster risk management strategy.

Hence, for promoting risk transfer mechanism in the State, Govt. of Kerala should include
following two principles in its State Policy for disaster management:

   Promoting/encouraging       insurance   coverage   to state-level assets   and
    infrastructures for effective transfer of disaster risk to insurance and re-
    insurance sectors. Initially the infrastructures managed by private sectors or
    under public-private partnership may be told to have insurance coverage on
    experimental basis.

   Lunching of micro-insurance schemes for the poor.


Suresh Kumar. S, National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology
Trivandrum
The draft plan appears to be very comprehensively drafted, though it needs to be a little more
expansive and perspicuous on the institutional linkages for research based resources, particularly
in aspects like mitigation and adaptation, pollution management, design of infrastructure for
preparedness, mechanisms of an innovative nature for delivery of aid.
   The fact of anomalous precipitation often associated with climate change impacts calls for
    new design criteria for storm water management and pollution abatement infrastructure and
    instrumentalities.
   Increased incidence of extreme dry weather and droughts may necessitate better water
    management mechanisms and delivery infrastructure as well as innovative solutions for
    sanitation, crop management, irrigation and seepage control etc.
   The incidence of new vector borne infections, and infestations in general call for continuous
    efforts in healthcare area not only in terms of systems and delivery ,but also research for
    prediction, modeling and control
   Innovative structural components are needed for risk prone areas and structures for
    management and control, including materials and design modifications and improvement.
   Sea level rise and coastal zone risks being further complicated in a state like Kerala due to
    proximity, urbanisation and demography may necessitate novel erosion control methods and
    materials. Water body management for swampy, marshy locations apart, a IWRM plan suited
    to the above conditions has to be evolved, consistent with demands of development too.

Hope this helps


P. Chandran, Disaster Watch, Bangalore
Thanks for coming with Kerala Disaster Management Policy Draft. Let me congratulate on linking
mitigation and preparedness into development initiatives and empowering of women and
vulnerable communities during and post disaster intervention.

Please see my comments below:

Under 6.1.1.Key Activities in Pre Disaster Phase

1. Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Analysis

There is no mention about community‘s role in hazard, risk and vulnerability analysis. Community
should realize the hazard and vulnerability in their villages and the mapping should be in such a
way to involve community and understand the hazard and risk to prepare for reducing the risk.
The analysis should lie with community and village panchayat.

6. Mainstreaming of disaster management into development
This is a good move to integrate development plans and disaster risk.

Under 8 Community Based Disaster Management
Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability analysis should be done by Village Disaster Maangement
Committee with grassroots community under the guidance of experts before they take any
activity on formation of task force etc.

Women‘s role in disasters mitigation and village disaster management committee should be
ensured.

Under section III. District Collector / District Disaster Management Authority
Hence Kerala is very strong in decentralisation of power, decision making system should actively
involve elected zilla parishads, block panchayats and village bodies in implementing at grassroots
level.

As suggested by Mike Adams Community Radio and other technologies should be incorporated in
Disaster Management.
Aditi Umrao, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow
Congratulations for developing a good draft policy! I am a part of Uttar Pradesh state disaster
management team. In Uttar Pradesh also we have developed a policy, from which you can take
some points in case you want them to be incorporated in your state DM Policy.
To view the policy click: http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/drm/cr/res10090903.pdf. (Pdf
Size 3 MB)


Nandita Hazarika, United Nations Development Programme, Assam
I have gone through the Policy and it appears to be okay. However a few suggestions:

   Perhaps the policy document in its objective can also include that awareness, education,
    training and capacity building in hazard risk management will be integral to the education
    and training policies of the state.
   Local Authorities: their roles and responsibilities may perhaps be added in the Institutional
    set-up.
   Definitions of Prevention, Mitigation & Preparedness may be corrected.
   Risk Financing may perhaps be added.
   In each phase the Role of stakeholders have been elaborated. Since Policy is a guiding
    principle only, therefore it may perhaps be reviewed whether this is to be incorporated in the
    policy document or in the DM Plans.


Biswajit Mohapatra, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong
I have carefully gone through the draft Kerela State Disaster Management Policy, which itself is a
very well intentioned document.

But to make this policy work beyond the realm of so called intention where the so-called
burgeoning state expenditure on relief and rehabilitation in the wake of disasters both man made
and natural ones, is brought down to a substantial level and a major part of the amount is saved
thereby and is put into the capacity building of people and various governmental institutions ,to
help them fight their existing poverty, this whole exercise necessitates the re orientation of our
governmental machineries so as to ensure that the public servants manning them are well
trained to meet these eventualities of protecting the lives & livelihood of people in the disaster
prone areas.

The document can include specific necessary administrative reforms which is the key factor in the
efficient discharge of public responsibilities in any situation.

Further some practical measures to ensure income opportunities to affected people immediately
in the aftermath of disasters need to be more emphasized and spelt out in details.

It is also important to train & equip a specialised section of state officials to meet such
eventualities rather than merely depending upon the existing district officials, as the district &
below and at state secretariat; we have been witness to the ineptitude and indifferent attitude
and functioning of umpteen government officials in the midst of disasters and other emergencies.
These state revenue officials be entrusted with the job of assisting the specialised team to help
them discharge their responsibilities.
These specialised officials equipped with properly & continuously updated knowledge &
equipments will surely function as a crisis management team, which can be deployed in the areas
like RAF(Rapid Action Force)on the eve of several disasters and need to be stationed there till
the situation is normal.

May I request you to kindly think over these points of my observation before finalizing the
aforesaid policy.


Gyana Ranjan Das, State Government of Orissa, Bhubneswar
We must congratulate the team of Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) for
preparing a very comprehensive Disaster Management Policy for the state of Kerala.Very nicely
and elaborately they have mentioned need and aims of the Policy, various stakeholders, their
roles in different phases of disaster management. They mentioned various activities to be taken
up in these phases. They have also quoted the Disaster Management Act, 2005 in appropriate
phases.

In additional to the well drafted sections of the Policy, we may look at the following.

   We may indicate that the Policy of the Governmen Kerala (instead of KSDMA as mentioned in
    the cover phase since it will be duly approved in the state cabinet and published through a
    resolution of the Department of Revenue and Disaster Management.
   It has been indicated that the Department of Revenue and DM will be the nodal Department
    for management of disasters. In this context, we may need to specify different types of
    disasters. Because in most of the states, various state level government departments are
    nodal department for management of specific type of disasters. For example, agriculture
    department is handles drought where as Health Department becomes the nodal department
    for health related disasters (epidemics etc)
   It has been mentioned that the Secretary of the Department of Revenue and Disaster
    Management will be the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC). We have elaborated the role of
    SRC in the draft Policy and his/her relationship and activities vis-a-vis the KSDMA.
   Somewhere in the beginning, we may consider to indicate the basic principles of disaster
    management like adoption of an inclusive approach with focus and various marginalised
    groups including peoples with disabilities, women, children, orphans, elderly people, their
    varying needs and other aspects.
   We are sure, the Government of Kerala might have got a Relief Code in place (which may
    need to be modified as the Disaster Management Code). This code normally contains detailed
    government orders and instructions for various disasters. The overall scenario needs to be
    judged taking into the Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Disaster Management Policy,
    State Disaster Management Policy, State Relief Code, state Disaster Management Act( it has
    been mentioned in the draft policy that a state act would be in place in future) and the Rules
    framed by the Government for Disaster Management Acts.
   We may also look at the role of and relation with UN agencies, multilateral aid agencies, and
    volunteers based organisations like Red Cross, NSS and others.
   It could be considered to indicate the level of Disasters (L0.L1,L2,L3 ) and the response
    strategy.
   We may consider the provide that each state level department prepares their own state level
    Department wise Disaster Management Plan and provision of earmarking funds in the
    departmental budget for disaster risk reduction activities.
   Somewhere may also highlight the linkages with other state governments, knowledge
    institutions, specialised agencies like state response team, deployment of army, navy, air
    force, national disaster response team etc.
   we may also highlight the strategy /commitment to strengthen the communication
    mechanism from state to community level and strengthening there of.
   The Risk Transfer mechanism and importance of insurance may be elaborated.
   The role for State SIRD, State ATI and other departmental training institutes may be clarified.
   We have mentioned the role of local self governments. We may specify the role of Urban
    Local Bodies and Panchayat Raj system. The Panchayat raj bodies have very important roles
    in all phases of disaster management.


Sebastian T V, Concern Worldwide India, Bhubaneswar
Thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to review and feedback on this policy. Based
on my several years' of involvement with the sector I have the following comments to make for
your consideration. The proposal to set up a Disaster Management Training Institute is a very
welcome move.
 I would like to see a more inclusive approach to disasters that include natural as well as
    human induced disasters. Loss of lives and livelihood, destruction of social, physical and
    natural capitals from acts of nature and action and/or inaction of humans should be
    considered as disasters and the policy should have scope to deal with all such eventualities.
    Some of these of course can be reflected in the state and district DM plans.
 It may not be possible in the near future, but the disaster management policy should aim at
    preventing human loss, not minimizing.
 Since Kerala has large population per village, Gram Panchayats and districts, I would suggest
    setting up of disaster management authorities at Block and Gram Panchayat levels as well.
 I envisage a greater role for the Panchayati Raj Institutions in disaster management (in all
    the three phases) than what is mentioned in the policy draft, including Co-chair position in
    the District and Block disaster management authorities. The policy should recognize the
    entirely of the GP in disaster management.
 The significance of voluntary and civil society organizations in disaster management is well
    noted in the draft. It will be good to specify their representation in the state, district and
    block level disaster management bodies.
 Citizens of the country have a right to life and dignity as envisaged in our constitution and
    various international conventions that Government of India has signed up to. Therefore the
    disaster management policy should reflect the nations and state‘s commitment to safeguard
    lives and dignity of its people. I would therefore propose replacement of the word ‗relief‘ with
    ‗humanitarian assistance‘.
 A clear division of roles and responsibilities between the SDMAs and Revenue and Disaster
    Management Department is crucial for disaster management and I hope this aspect is amply
    clear in this policy.
 It would be appropriate to give greater focus on disaster risk reduction in the policy as part
    of prevention. Measures to address issues arising out of global warming and climate change,
    which has increased vulnerabilities in many ways, has to be taken up to reduce risk. As part
    of this effort the SDMAs could be made the nodal agency to do a mandatory disaster risk and
    vulnerability assessment for all the ongoing and future development programmes including
    infrastructure development, both in public and private sectors. Systems and procedures also
    need to be put in place to monitor its recommendations and ensure compliance.
 There is a mention of standards for ‗relief‘. It will be good to specify where to find it.
 Gender sensitivity, social inclusion and ‗people with special needs‘ have been mentioned in
    the policy. This group should include children, pregnant and lactating mothers, the aged, and
    people with disabilities, young girls and boys, people living with HIV/AIDS etc.
 It will be good to include a section in the policy outlining a complaints handling mechanism in
    respect of this policy.
V. Kurien Baby, District Collector, Thrissur
The draft disaster management policy document is comprehensive and a laudable. The
document has already generated considerable enthusiasm and serious discussions from
practitioners. In the context, I would like to share some of my observations:

The vision and goals of the policy needs to be articulated in more specific terms. Apparently the
policy is striving to achieve ‗a safer community and a better quality of life in the State through
holistic and comprehensive state- of art emergency and disaster services‘

The urgency of the policy is driven inter alia by the unique features of our State like high density
of population, rur-urban character (the whole State is a city in the making) high investments per
sq.km both private – households and public, long coast line and potential impact of climate
change. Exotic infectious diseases (state is having very high rate of out-migration) and terrorism
related hazards shall also be a part of the policy.

The policy document may also incorporate performance indicators for key elements which will
help significantly in ensuring enhanced accountability. Two critical parameters are (a) integration
of disaster management framework into the development framework of the State and (b)
medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) that indicate the budgetary commitment of the
Government to the policy to translate the policy goals into outcome. The broad contours of the
financing / resource mobilization options like disaster management tax, natural resource
depletion and risk premium, would concretize the policy.

Risk cover and hedging which is internationally accepted and well designed insurance
instruments are now available. The most feasible option that can reduce transaction cost,
targeted, cost effective and inclusive are risk coverage through appropriate insurance
instruments governed by effective regulatory frameworks.

The draft policy shall be vetted for policy coherence leading towards realignment of other policies
where ever required and also setting up of a permanent high power policy coherence committee
for vetting future legislations and amendments.

Disasters are not new. The policy may envisage leveraging and capitalizing existing social capital
and traditional wisdom in sustainable management of disasters which shall be an integral
component of the PRI centric community based disaster management plans.

The basic challenge in developing a Disaster Management Strategic Policy Framework is in
designing effective tools to enhance governance and accountability, and to promote integrated
whole-of-government solutions. As the approach in vogue in our country is largely dominated by
crisis management and rigid mind sets, tremendous capacity creation is required along with
technical assistance for forging alliances, coordination, partnership and convergence. Evidence
based and analytical advocacy can accelerate the pace of change.

In all phases of the disaster management, key elements that determine success are knowledge
management, networking (regional-national and international), promotion of results based R&D
and adoption of frontier /appropriate technologies. CESS Trivandrum can be the nodal agency for
the purpose and the R&D SPV can also work as an extended arm of the SDMA.

Significant value addition can also be achieved if the role and responsibility matrix along with
technology assessment maps are incorporated as part of the Standard Operating Procedures.


N M Prusty, Disaster Mangement Support Project India, Sphere India. New Delhi
I have a suggestion for your review. It is to introduce “Disaster Risk Analysis and Audit
(DRAA) “as a mandatory requirement for any development program.

Let me state that research studies have clearly indicated that Societal changes and Rapid
development are the two main root causes of increasing disaster losses in the world. In fact I will
like to put ―Climate Change‖ as an intermediate cause not so much as a root cause as many
climate change protagonists put it. Increasing urban disasters, rising frequency of flooding and
sea surges etc are some evidence of this. I am sure that you all will agree that it will be foolish
(rather impossible) to prevent this change and development as we being a part of the modern
society move on the time horizon. Therefore in my opinion we have only one option that is to
ensure mitigation of this loss. Therefore I will like to put before you an argument that we need to
be conscious and aware of the risks associated with this change process. Some of us will argue
that continuing research and education will help improve our awareness and consciousness. But
should we not also ensure putting in place a policy environment that will guide risk resistant
development! For this my argument will be that how about introduce a process that will demand
mandatory disaster risk analysis for any development initiative and further as we move on the
implementation of the development program we also introduce time to time disaster risk audit to
verify if out of our enthusiasm to implement development program we have not ignored the
danger signals that the disaster risk analysis had given at the program design stage, have we
introduced any risk resistant measure to mitigate the risk impact etc?

The challenge is that how we put such an over arching concept in to the Policy. Can we take
examples of EIA as a pre-requisite of any large scale infrastructure project? I am sure many of
you will agree that introduction of EIA is surely helping better our infrastructure projects.
Therefore I tend to be optimistic that introduction of DRAA will help improve the quality of our
development projects and programs thus mitigating disaster losses and minimizing disaster
threats.

Thus I will like to pose this on 2 fronts, one for inclusion in the policy frame work and the other
for the Researchers to include in their agenda.

I look forward to a healthy discussion on this.


Satheesh KK Sridharan, Consultant, Chennai
Congratulation to you and your team for coming out with the State Disaster management plan.

It is indeed a comprehensive plan, which talks about gender aspects also, my small suggestion is
to include the state department which is involved in the women and children issues (eg. Women
and Children welfare department) apart from the other departments, with special emphasis, so
that legal binding to the Gender aspect will be easy and handy during the pre and post disaster
management activities.


Imon Ghosh, METRO Cash & Carry India, Bangalore

Thinking through and refining a Disaster Management Policy that effectively addresses potential
threats is a commendable exercise. The subsequent challenge, of course, will be to ensure that
the ongoing practice matches the stated policy ...

My singular experience with managing / averting a potential disaster relating to Kerala state goes
back to 1985 onwards when I wrote to a number of officials and decision makers
(including three Indian prime ministers and two presidents) within a span of 4 years with a
solution for mitigating a potential disaster eminating from a 10,000 ton anhydrous ammonia tank
on Willingdon Island in Kochi run by the state-owned fertilizer company, Fertilizers and Chemicals
Travancore Ltd. (FACT).

The Bhopal gas tragedy had demonstrated the scale of suffering that an industrial accident could
inflict, as well as the inadequate governmental response to the disaster. I was
therefore astonished to learn that a state-run chemical storage facility could lead, by the
government's own estimates, to 2.2 million deaths which was many hundreds of times greater
than the fatalities caused by the Bhopal gas tragedy. I found this unacceptable ... especially
since I lived in Ernakulam at the time, and would have been among the 2.2 million!

A little investment of thought showed that a solution existed that could remove the threat to
public safety without affecting the production or profits of FACT:

Anhydrous ammonia is highly toxic (5000 parts per million will lead to near instantaneous death
in a healthy adult) and a single ton leak (let alone 10,000 tons!) would necessitate the
evacuation of Cochin including Mattanchery, Willingdon Island, Ernakulam and much of the
densely populated Kochi-Alwaye belt.

Nevertheless, anhydrous ammonia is only an intermediate product and is used to produce
caprolactum, which is completely inert. Common sense would suggest that rather than importing,
storing and transporting a highly toxic chemical in densely populated areas at great risk to
human life, it would be sensible to process it into inert caprolactum on an offshore rig a safe
distance out at sea from populated regions, and then transport the caprolactum inexpensively
through Kerala's extensive waterways.

I have lost count of the number of government officials and leaders I wrote to at the state and
central government as well as the FACT itself between 1985 and 1989 highlighting the potential
disaster that the 10,000 tonne anhydrous ammonia tank on Willingdon Island represented, the
manner in which it violated the government's own safety rules (including being located close to
the tip of the shortest commercially used runway in the country, only 50 meters away from the
permanent hazardous goods handling berth, and in the flight path of trainee helicopter pilots
from the adjacent Southern Naval Command headquarters, among others...), and the offshore
processing solution.

The officials who bothered to respond dismissed the offshore processing solution out of hand,
while citing the efficacy of a 'Disaster Management Plan' in protecting the 2.2 million people who
were at risk of losing their lives, even though other experts had stated that there was no
effective response to a large scale leak from the facility. Perhaps this explains why I tend to view
Disaster Management Policies and Plans with a healthy dose of scepticism.

After 4 years of futile correspondence, I and several friends who were members of the Law
Society of India decided to move the Hon'ble High Court of Kerala. It took us 5 years to win the
case in the Hon'ble High Court of Kerala. Please refer to the judgement which contains further
details relating to the case here: http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/drm/cr/res10090903.pdf

The petitioners in the case were never against FACT (indeed, FACT benefitted from the case
despite stiffly resisting it at public expense, when they received 608 crore rupees from the central
government to address the ammonia storage problem at a time when Kerala state was denied
500 crores for a state development fund) but were for public safety, and upholding the
government's own laws relating to the storage and transport of hazardous chemicals.
So far, I've briefly narrated events that took place almost 25 years ago (and have not addressed
many of our experiences or lessons learnt in relation to the ammonia case).

A more recent disaster management example is the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The numerous
deaths that occured in India and Sri Lanka could have been avoided, since the two and a half
hour lead time that it took for the tsunami to reach our shores should have been enough to clear
our beaches and warn our fishermen - especially since the impact of the tsunami on Thailand
was broadcast well in advance of its impact on our shores. I was living in the Seychelles at the
time, where there was heavy infrastructure damage but only 2 deaths (while in Somalia and
Kenya a thousand miles to the west, over a thousand people died). If there is interest, I can
separately narrate our experience with the Tsunami in the Seychelles.


Arun Keshav, United Nations Development Programme, Dhanbad
I would like to congratulate you for drafting quite a comprehensive State Disaster Management
Policy and would further appreciate you for posting it on sol exch, through which all the members
could get an opportunity to read some really good comments and your draft.

Since many aspects have already been discussed I would like to put across one important point I
feel is important:

Policy on adoption of suitable latest technology, technology upgradation/ latest
knowledge/ information for DRR with zero time lag:
It is seen that many a times at implementation level we fail to incorporate existing
technology/knowledge in time due to lengthy process and procedures and lack of initiative.
e.g we are aware that in our country we have adequate expertise in remote sensing, but how
many state Government departments are using it for hazard- Risk- vulnerability analysis? Even if
we don't go that far many state Governments are yet to make changes in their out dated building
bylaws, even though all the knowledge is available. Detailed policy guidelines to make this
happen could be incorporated.


K. J Devasia, Senior Manager Emergency & Business Continuity Management,
Bangalore International Airport Lt, Bangalore
First, I must congratulate you and your team for the draft policy document. Many of my friends
and colleagues have shared a lot of comments and observations. In addition to this, I would like
to add a couple of points:
 Section 5.5 speaks about a 24x7 EOC at state level. However, provision for District level
     EOCs has not clearly mentioned, except a brief mention of the control room. I suggest having
     a central EOC at State level, and district level EOCs at each district head quarters with
     adequate mutual connectivity. Or, can think of three state level EOCs at strategic locations
     like TVM, ERN and somewhere in Northern Kerala, for appropriate coordination.
 In section 5.10, it is suggested to have specific mention on Air-Rail-Sea authorities, as they
     have crucial roles to play. The National Disaster Management Act 2005 doesnot speak about
     Air, Rail, and Sea Disasters. Interestingly, all these sections are having its own Ministries and
     specific legislations that are binding for them. Further the National Disaster Management Act
     2005 becomes weak in front of those regulations and thus such disasters not coming under
     it. As everybody knows, the Air-Rail links are some of the lifelines in case of any disaster,
     especially natural disasters, which needs to be adequately integrated to the state level
     disaster management system.
 In section 6.1.1. (5), where ICS is illustrated, I have the following comments. So far, ICS has
     been implemented in many states including Delhi where I too was an instrument to set up
     the same in 2004-5. However, many times the authority and power of ICS has been
    questioned (or at least not taken for granted) due to many parallel departments with equal
    power otherwise (the same is seen in Karnataka now). Deviating from the decade old ICS
    system in the country, suggested that if a State Level official, (say PS Home…etc) is the
    Incident Commander for better execution of the role by every department during a disaster,
    even if it affects only one district.
   Kerala has certain typical disasters like monsoon related landslide (urulpottal) which are
    common in Idulkki, Kannur, Waynadu etc. Specific mention and strategy to tackle such
    seasonal disasters and its preparedness strategy needs to be started from the policy itself.
   District Disaster Management Authority has been clearly illustrated in the policy. However,
    down line procedures such as sub-divisional and Panchayat level mechanism, and the
    responsible nodal officers at these levels and their specific roles etc also needs to be
    specified in the policy document.
   Role clarity of State Fire Service, Civil Defence and Disaster Management Authority may be
    clearly spelt. It‘s a common problem everywhere (at least in Karnataka) that there are
    confusion on the lead role of disaster management among these departments
   Lastly, if I understand correctly, disaster management in school and college curriculum is not
    adequately addressed in the policy. Awareness generation is the most important component
    of disaster management. Further capacity building of various task forces and interest groups
    are important to create a culture of disaster management in the State.

I appreciate your team for the draft disaster management policy and the vision put in paper for a
safer Kerala

Sajan Venniyoor, RedAct Media, New Delhi
The draft DM policy is a good document as policies go, but of course it needs to translate into
strategy. If I may focus on the communication aspect of the draft policy, I find it extremely
sketchy though well-intentioned. Rather than brief references to 'flow of information' and 'early
warning system', I would have expected a complete section on disaster communications.
Information saves lives.

Under 'Flow of Information', the document says that the relevant agencies "would ensure precise
communication of the impact of disaster and relief measures being taken. The agencies
concerned should setup toll free numbers for emergency information assistance and establish
help lines for providing, directing and coordinating logistical operations." How they would 'ensure
precise communication' is a matter of conjecture, but surely telecom services are hugely
unreliable during natural disasters.

Even during a relatively manageable emergency like the Mumbai floods of July 2005, telephone
services were completely disrupted. Even a year later, after a couple of days of heavy rain in
Mumbai, newspapers reported that, "despite the municipal corporation having set up help-lines
and a special disaster control room, residents complained that they could not reach any of the
numbers for help" (The Hindu, 5 July 2006).

The 'Early Warning System' conceived under the policy is likewise long on good intentions, short
on details. What kind of a 'mechanism' will ensure the dissemination of 'warning information to
vulnerable communities in last mile through district authorities'? Are district authorities equipped
in any way to disseminate information at very short notice to the general public, far less to
vulnerable communities? What sort of communication system -- which reaches vulnerable
communities in the last mile -- could a District Collector possibly install and maintain in the
district? These are mysteries.

The draft Kerala State Disaster Management Policy works rather well as a vision document, but I
wonder how much of it can realistically be implemented. It's been five years since the 2004
tsunami that led, in fits and starts, to this draft policy. Perhaps a less ambitious policy, to start
with, would have a greater chance of success.


Shachi Grover, UNFPA, New Delhi
I have had a quick look at the document. Some thoughts that come to me is that the document
should spell out the various department and their specific role in all phases at state and district
level (Institutional framework). This will ensure accountability of each department. (in the
absence of specific roles in the policy, they tend not to give it the priority). Further allocation of
funds in each department will also be easier once their roles and terms of reference are clearly
defined.

I also think a paragraph on Coordination and the systems will be useful. The various
coordination committee meetings at the state and district level, who are the members and their
roles and duties.


Rudra Prasad Nandi, Sea Explorers' Institute, Kolkata

Institutional transformations are only significant if meaningful citizen engagement in risk
reduction activities is strong. Integration into ‗development‘ has been driving both the adaptation
and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) communities.

New frameworks can be extremely useful in cases of challenging risk-enhancing activities by
state and/or private actors, where deadlock may have been reached, or overt power relations are
at play. In these cases, participatory vulnerability and capacity assessments followed by
mainstreaming processes can be extremely valuable for building relations, trust, active
engagement, communication channels and common language amongst different actors. Support
beyond mainstreaming for more controversial contexts (i.e. related to natural resource
exploitation or lack of recognized citizenship or land rights) should not be put to one side in the
hope that successful mainstreaming will deal with them. Essentially whilst addressing risk and
changing risk profiles under climate change requires new thinking, the opportunities this thinking,
along with new financing and institutional mandates provides must be exploited.


Kalika Mohapatra, Independent, Bhubneswar
My suggestions are below on Kerala State Disaster Management policy:

   A policy can not be for an authority, it should be for the state govt.
   When the state has adopted the national DM Act 2005, there is no necessity to have another
    act for the state. National Act always supersede the state Act. The state may formulate the
    rule of business based on the national Act and specific need of the state. This will be
    suffices to support the DM initiatives in the state and would provide sufficient legal backing
    also.
   The policy is more generic needs to be specific more emphasis on awareness generation, DM
    education , risk transform mechanism and disaster finance for making the houses safe etc.

More broadly I can say it is a mixture of DM code, CRF Norms and SOPs. As policy is always a
guiding principle for the state and it has to explain the vision of the state for Disaster
Management.
Ashok Malhotra, United Nations Development Programme, New Delhi
It is a matter of happiness that valuable information and suggestions have been shared yet again
on the draft Kerala Disaster Management Policy since it is posted under the Solution Exchange
for Disaster Management Community.

I would like to make a few general observations and comments with regard to the scope of the
policy as follows:

   The aims, objectives and goals of the policy or the problem statement can cover the need for
    building capacities accompanied with changes required in the administrative systems and
    procedures that would allow preparation/response in an efficient and effective manner in
    case of disasters,
   These can cover the aspects such as how the concept and approach that should help in
     developing disaster sensitive and resilient communities would be promoted;
   The institutionalization of disaster management structures under the DM Act can be
    accompanied with mechanisms with respect to how those structures would be empowered so
    that they are able to respond to any types of hazards and disasters; how they would be able
    to work in cohesion with other structures established under the nationally and state
    sponsored policies, programmes and schemes. For example, while providing access to basic
    services, income generation and improved local governance, how the aspects of safety,
    security and vulnerability of the people, especially most vulnerable would be addressed; and
   How the need for more enhanced understanding of the causes and potential responses
    towards the impact of climate change on disasters; and need for evolving an integrated
    framework to address the issues of disasters and climate change would be addressed.


                     Many thanks to all who contributed to this query!

If you have further information to share on this topic, please send it to Solution Exchange for the
Disaster Management Community in India at se-drm@solutionexchange-un.net.in with the
subject heading ―Re: [se-drm] FOR COMMENTS: Draft Kerala State Disaster Management Policy
Additional Reply.‖

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