Mar 30, Colombo: The UNDP Country Offices across Asia and the Pacific region are implementing a program funded by the supported by the Government of Japan to strengthen school preparedness for tsunamis in Asia and the Pacific and five Sri Lankan schools will take part in the program.
The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami claimed the lives of more than thirty-five thousand Sri Lankans and affected more than one million people across the island. It damaged a total of 183 schools, 18 vocational and industrial training institutes and 4 universities, affecting the studies of nearly 100,000 students across fourteen Coastal Districts.
To reduce the loss of lives associated with tsunamis, the Government of Japan is supporting a regional project to strengthen school preparedness for tsunamis in Asia and the Pacific.
Implemented by UNDP in Country Offices across Asia and the Pacific region, 90 tsunami drills in 90 schools will be conducted across 18 countries including: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.
In Sri Lanka, UNDP together with the Ministry of Disaster Management, Ministry of Education, Red Cross, Sri Lanka Navy and School development societies, will design, implement and coordinate a school simulation program in five selected schools affected by the Tsunami in 2004 - starting with Galle on 03 April 2018 at the Vidyaloka Madya Maha Vidyalaya.
Deputy Country Director, UNDP Ms. Lovita Ramguttee, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Ms. Dharshana Senanayake Management and a representative of the Embassy of Japan will take part in the event.
The School Preparedness program is a full operational drill to test and evaluate the operational and decision-making readiness of Principals, staff, students and school committees in the event of a tsunami affecting Sri Lanka. The exercise will allow these schools to simulate on how to evacuate the students properly to identified safe locations as well as to simulate on School's Disaster Management Plan developed.