Working with communities affected by disasters
Natural and man-made disasters affect millions of people every year. From providing immediate disaster relief to running recovery projects, Plan works to protect children during emergencies, ensuring their immediate and long-term needs are met.
In 2010, Plan was able to respond to 17 disasters around the world and implement disaster risk reduction strategies in 14 other countries.
Recovery after a historic disaster in Pakistan
The monsoon season of 2010 brought on the worst flooding in Pakistan’s history, affecting more than 20 million people – nearly half of them children. Plan has been working in Pakistan since 1997, and was working on Disaster Risk Reduction in Punjab and Sindh provinces when the floodwaters hit.
With thousands of wells, rivers and other water sources contaminated by floodwater, many of the displaced were at risk of diarrhea, cholera, malaria, dengue and respiratory infections. Plan installed hand pumps and set up water tanks; providing safe, clean water to almost 4,000 families. Hygiene kits were distributed to over 5,300 families, including soap, toothpaste and sanitary supplies. Plan focused on the unique needs of women and girls by providing them with separate latrines and offering them special hygiene education sessions.
Youth take the lead in flood control in Senegal
The city of St. Louis is prone to seasonal flooding that damages the local sanitation and health infrastructure. Working with the city council and local youth from 11 districts, Plan has helped to restore flood-damaged neighborhoods and prevent waterborne diseases.
With Plan’s support, the communities there have elected 310 youth to serve on 11 disaster-management committees, each of which serves an area of 50-60 households. The members are trained in risk management and flood control, and are supplied with equipment such as shovels, as well as manuals on keeping classrooms and latrines clean. During the cleanup sessions, the young volunteers helped families to manage household waste and improve sanitation. They used sand to protect roads from flooding, and repaired school latrines and water taps, benefiting some 9,000 pupils. The project team also trained 32 teachers and 4,000 pupils from 11 elementary schools to prepare for future floods, and distributed 5,100 leaflets.
Children recover from Typhoon Ketsana with revitalized day care
When the city of Binangonan, Philippines was hit by a typhoon, children were among the worst affected. Day-care centers were flooded with rubbish, and walls caved in. At the municipal level, refurbishing these centers was a low priority. Plan responded by distributing learning materials, toys, teaching aids and school supplies to 52 day-care centers and training workers in how to use them.
“The new learning materials motivated the children to return to school,” says day-care worker Edena Cerda. “They were keen to learn and play with the new materials. They didn’t want to miss out.” Plan also helped restore supervised neighborhood playgroups, providing learning materials and training workers and parent volunteers to conduct play sessions.
Earthquake recovery continues in Haiti
Plan is actively supporting the involvement of Haitian civil society in the country’s reconstruction, and is advocating for children and youth to be included in the process. With our partners, we conducted a national post-disaster needs assessment consultation that enabled nearly 1,000 children and youth to share their ideas and priorities for the country’s reconstruction. The resulting report conveyed the views of Haiti’s children and youth, whose priorities were to return to school and to be free from all forms of violence and abuse.