MELAKA: In a bid to strengthen Malaysia’s resilience to natural disasters such as floods, the Malaysian Water Partnership (MyWP) as well as Global Environment Centre (GEC), National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and University Putra Malaysia (UPM) organised a workshop on flood preparation here.
The two-day Training of Trainers workshop was held for 50 participants from government agencies and local communities in the state, aimed to equip them with knowledge and skills on flood-proofing and climate resilience.
“We often see communities in Malaysia struggling with environmental and societal challenges due to extreme weather and climate conditions.
Participants from government agencies and local communities at Training of Trainers Workshop on Flood Preparedness in Melaka.
“This workshop is about preparing them for that and measures that need to be taken to reduce the amount of damage caused by floods and the associated stress.
“This is the first time that Nadma is officially collaborating with MyWP, GEC and UPM,” said Nadma Planning and Policy Sectors deputy director-general Mohamed Zahari Razali.
He said he was very impressed with the handbook titled Community Role in Integrated Flood Management in Malaysia used in the workshop.
GEC’s river and water specialist and workshop coordinator Dr K. Kalithasan said they could not forecast where and when the next major flood disaster would strike, and that it was imperative to cope with future impacts of climate change.
“Flood proofing can help a community cope and adapt to future climate change and assist in creating a more resilient and sustainable community,” he said.
Present at the workshop closing ceremony was MyWP vice-chairman Datuk Hanapi Mohamad Noor.
He said the ultimate goal of the workshop was to ensure that when disaster struck, people could apply the knowledge and skills they acquired to get back on their feet as this would reduce cost and damages caused by floods.
During the training, participants were taught on flood management mechanisms in Malaysia, steps to react and deal with floods, how to prepare a “grab bag” and 72H (72-hour) kit.
They participated in a Town Watching exercise – a tool that assists communities to gain a
deeper understanding of the current condition of their environment and collectively produce localised flood hazard maps that will be useful in reducing impact of disasters.
Selected community and government agency groups received the grab bag – an emergency and survival kit for residents to get through a crisis such as floods.
They were also shown on how to store clean water and treat flood water as potable water for immediate use.
Organised for the first time in 2015, the workshop has benefited more than 500 communities in peninsular Malaysia.