October 2012, Balangoda, Sri Lanka. An awareness programme on “Disaster Resilient Practices for sustainable constructions” for local government officers, technical personnel and the general public was held in Balangoda recently. The workshop is a key output of the project ‘Disaster Resilient City Development Strategies for Sri Lankan Cities’ funded by the Government of Australia, being implemented in the cities of Balangoda, Ratnapura, Batticola and Kalmunai in Sri Lanka.
As the first step of the programme, a two day awareness workshop was held in the city of Balangoda during 11th – 12th October 2012. The theme of the workshop was ‘Disaster Resilient Practices for Constructions in Hilly Areas’, derived from the awareness needs assessments undertaken through stakeholder consultations in the four cities.
The first workshop was for officials who are involved in the construction process such as technical officers, surveyors, architects, engineers, draftsmen and other relevant officers in the cities. Masons, carpenters, excavator operators and small scale contractors participated at the second workshop held on 12th October 2012.
The workshops consisted of presentations on landslides and associated geo-technical aspects, guidelines for constructions in hilly areas and the importance of a “Planning Clearance Process” as a risk reduction tool in settlement development.
As the main research agency on disaster resilient building and construction in Sri Lanka, the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) provided vital technical support and facilitated the workshops. The workshops consisted of presentations and interactive discussions.
As the next step of this programme, a two day awareness workshop targeting local government officials and other key stakeholders will be held in November, 2012 in the city of Ratnapura.
The project ‘Disaster Resilient City Development Strategies for Sri Lankan Cities’ is funded by the Government of Australia. It is being implemented by UN-Habitat, in collaboration with the University of Moratuwa, Ministry of Disaster Management, Urban Development Authority and Local Authorities of the selected four cities.