Seminar on disaster risk reduction in Balkanabad

A regular workshop on capacity building and institutional development of personnel of organizations involved in disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities was held on November 16, 2021 in Balkanabat. The seminar brought together 20 representatives of state and civil society organizations related to DRR at the national level, including: Civil Defense and Rescue Operations Derectorate of the Balkan Region of the Ministry of Defense of Turkmenistan, the Fire Safety Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the city of Balkanabat, the Balkan Department of Environmental Protection of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan, Branch of the Balkan velayat of the National Society of the Red Crescent  of Turkmenistan, Nature Preserving Society and others.

The seminar, organized by the Nature Preserving Society of Turkmenistan (NPST) with the support of the USAID/ Governance Support Program in Turkmenistan (GSP), was opened with a welcoming speech by the Chairman of NPST Allekov Serdar. He spoke about the achievements and plans of the organization for the future in this field.

Nurgeldi Byashimov, a senior employee of the training and retraining department of the Civil Defense and Rescue Operations Directorate (CDROD) in the Balkan velayat. As the representative of the CDROD, the responsible national authority for DRR, and, accordingly, for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction for 2015-2030, ratified by Turkmenistan, he spoke extensively about the need for educational work among all sectors of society. Specifically, his speech was about how important it is to be prepared, to know how to behave before, during and after an emergency. The report was accompanied by a demonstration of the film of a topic. N. Byashimov also noted that despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has bypassed Turkmenistan, it is still necessary to observe precautions, be vaccinated and follow the recommendations of medical workers.

The National Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan (NRCST), as a member of the national platform for disaster risk reduction, takes an active part in the series of seminars conducted by the Nature Preserving Society in all velayats of the country. Representative of Balkan branch of NRCST, Arslan Borjakov drew attention to the nature and capacities of earthquakes. The Balkan velayat is located in the belt of mountain ranges of the Small and Big Balkhan (these are young mountains and the period of their growth is not over yet). The growth of mountains increases the seismic activity of the region, hence, knowing simple rules can save the lives of many people.

It is noteworthy that the initiative to hold such a seminar in all regions of the country was unanimously approved by all the participants of the seminar. Raising public awareness can be a warning and solution to many natural disasters inherent in each region. Experts cited some examples of prediction and prevention of natural disasters in neighboring countries with climatic and geographic conditions similar to ours.

The second half of the seminar began with a speech by Jahan Pashakova, a representative of the AIDS Prevention Center. In her speech, she noted that AIDS should be considered as a natural disaster, since every day about 7,500 people around the world are infected with AIDS. And the only way to stop the disease is prevention, education among adults and young people. As a medical worker, J. Pashakova in her speech could not but touch upon the burning topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, which also requires serious preventive and educational work, and, addressing all those present at the seminar, she strongly recommended that all the rules and norms of personal hygiene be observed as at home and in public places.

By the end of the seminar, Ovlyaguly Kurbanov, director of the branch of the Balkan velayat of Nature Preserving Society, made presentations on the activities carried out in the Balkan velayat to prevent fires in the open area, especially in the summer.

The seminar was held in a lively and free form, where the participants could tell something interesting from their professional experience, share their knowledge in case of emergency. Furthermore, Nurgeldi Byashimov, who spoke earlier, along with Rakhmanberdi Amangeldiyev, doctor of Mollagara health center, considered it necessary to tell the participants in detail about the provision of first aid during disasters. The speakers emphasized that people need to learn to stay cool, not lose presence of mind and help other people also stay calm when providing first aid. Unlike emergency medical care, first aid can be carried out by any person even without medical knowledge.

Mentioning once again, this is the fourth seminar held by NPST, that will end with a seminar in Ashgabat in December 9. The seminar will be attended by representatives of the state and public sectors involved in disaster risk reduction in Turkmenistan. It is important to mention that Guidelince on vulnerable to natural disasters territories of Turkmenistan will be developed by the end of seminar series.


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