Training community leaders in emergency flood response


Participants of the flood preparedness training programme in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam.

THIRTY community leaders attended a flood preparedness training programme in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam in Selangor.

It was organised in view of the increasing need for community-based flood preparedness and resilience as Taman Sri Muda was one of the worst-hit areas during the floods of December 2021.

The programme was organised by Spark Foundation in collaboration with Global Environment Centre (GEC).

Also involved were Klang District and Land Office as well as Klang Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID).

It was opened by Selangor socio-economic, empowerment, development and caring government committee chairman V. Ganabatirau who is also Kota Kemuning assemblyman.

He thanked the foundation and GEC for helping to upskill community leaders in flood preparation and emergency response.

“We are working together to execute the training for 30 selected community leaders to be cascaded down to members of the Taman Sri Muda community, in line with the Selangor government’s flood preparation measures for communities,” he said.

During the programme, participants were taken through a series of presentations and demonstrations.

They were informed of the role of the Klang district disaster committee and learnt how to support communities in a flood incident.

This was followed by a session by DID on its history, current flood mitigation plans and future works in Taman Sri Muda.

GEC’s river care programme manager Dr K. Kalithasan also had an interactive session with participants.

They were taught how best to deal with flood risks, besides skills to prevent and manage floods.

Hands-on activities were carried out on preparing grab bags, 72-hour kits, identifying flood hazards, leveraging potential strengths and developing a localised town-watching map.

Grab bags refer to essential documents like identification papers as well as birth and marriage certificates that should be put into a bag which could be carried quickly during an emergency.

A 72-hour kit will include basic tools and food rations so households can survive on their own for up to three days.

Foundation trustee Renuka Indrarajah said it wanted to grow with local communities and create learning opportunities through the partnership with GEC.

“We have executed various water stewardship initiatives with GEC.

“The flood preparedness training programme is a new addition to our list of initiatives.

“We are committed to supporting the community by enhancing their flood resilience.”

Renuka added that their aim was to train and prepare community leaders for future floods as well as reduce local challenges.

Dr Kalithasan said GEC had been working with Spark Foundation since 2007 to execute water projects such as the rehabilitation of the Sungai Way river in Petaling Jaya.

“This year we wanted to scale up our efforts by joining hands with the authorities to educate selected key community leaders on the importance of community-based flood preparedness, in view of climate change,” he said.

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