MORE than 40 representatives from heritage cities all over the world gathered for a disaster risk reduction practices and strategies sharing session during a two-day workshop held in George Town, Penang.
During the Experience Sharing Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy, participants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Fiji, Island of Mozambique and Samoa gathered to share knowledge through sharing sessions and study visits.
George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee said the workshop was to empower communities and enhance resilience in facing disasters.
“This workshop by the Unesco Office Jakarta and GTWHI was part of the Disaster Risk Reduction projects which have selected heritage cities to develop a Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy.
“This strategy involves assessing major hazards, implications to heritage sites and coping with disasters,” she told a press conference at Lim Jetty in Weld Quay recently.
The participating cities were Melaka, George Town, Semarang Old Town (Indonesia), Levuka Port Town (Fiji), Island of Mozambique and Apia Waterfront (Samoa).
Dr Ang added that the project enhanced the participants’ capacity in identifying cultural attributes, hazards, vulnerability, prevention measures and the establishment of emergency action plans.
“It has also fostered ties between the heritage cities,” she said.
Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi, who was also present, said the cities have explored and identified risks that could threaten the cultural heritage of their respective sites.
“Subsequently, they developed strategies and action plans to battle and cope with the risk.
“I hope the participants gained a better insight and obtained greater knowledge through the sharing sessions and study visits.”
After the press conference, Gooi also handed over 20 sets of fire extinguishers and smoke detectors to Lim Jetty representatives during a Community-based Fire Preparedness and Response Strategy programme.
The programme, which was under GTWHI’s Disaster Risk Management initiative, also saw over 20 Lim Jetty residents joining a firefighting training assisted by the state Fire Department.
Penang Lim Jetty Clan Association chairman Patrick Lim said they were grateful to receive the fire kits.
“To us, this training is good as it equips us with the right knowledge, especially because the jetty houses are so closely built.
“As such, the fire extinguishers and smoke detectors would really come in handy if any unimaginable situations were to arise,” he said.