School communication activities on climate changes adaptation & disaster risk reduction

Trees next to lake

Thua Thien Hue – On 17-27 January 2019, a series of communication events were held in seven primary and secondary schools in Thua Thien Hue province to raise awareness amongst students and teachers on disaster risks reduction for communities living in the disaster-prone areas.

Under the USAID Green Annamites project, the events were organised in Phu Loc, A Luoi, Nam Dong, Phu Vang and Phong Dien districts. In participating schools, 300 people joined the events, including students, parents, teachers, representatives of the Department of Education & Training and the Provincial Management Board of the USAID Green Annamites. The project is allowing local teachers and students to strengthen their capacity, develop essential skills to help them better cope with natural disasters and climate change effects.

Through activities and educational games, knowledge about Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) was successfully transferred to teachers and students. Many students participated in dancing performances, quizzes, sports games and competitions to share their point of views and knowledge about DRR and CCA, especially about frequency and prevention of natural disasters in their living areas. Students also joined environmental protection activities such as tree planting or cleaning of their school's surroundings. All the activities significantly helped in raising children's awareness about climate change and impact disaster and risk management.

Group of young students
Group of young students

“Natural disasters are uncontrollable random events. Children and students are most vulnerable during disasters. Due to the inability of escaping, many students are at high risk of injury during a disaster. After the disaster, they can experience traumas related to the loss of their home, belongings, or family members." mr. Dang Xuan Thu, Headmaster of Thuong Quang primary school in Nam Dong district. “Through this communication event, we want to raise awareness and help local communities understand more about the risks faced by students and children when a natural disaster happens. It equips them with the skills and knowledge needed in case of emergencies. Children are quick learners, so the sooner we involve them in these matters, the better they will learn about DDR and CCA and cope with disaster's impact.” mr. Thu added.

Reducing disasters' impact on infrastructure and educational continuity, as well as increasing the safety of teachers and students during a natural disaster, are very important objectives for the DRR and CCA communications events. After learning about DRR and CCA at school, it is expected that students will transfer their knowledge to their families, and consequently help their communities to mitigate losses caused by a natural disaster. In the next month, the USAID Green Annamites Project will support three primary and secondary schools in Quang Dien and Huong Tra districts in Thua Thien Hue province to organise their communication events.