Putrajaya, Malaysia (May 17-18, 2016)
Responding to a formal request from the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) that leads a network of six universities for a research on disaster risk reduction, with special emphasis on flood management, the International Recovery Platform/Asian Disaster Reduction Center (IRP/ADRC) facilitated a two-day orientation workshop on Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning (PDRP). The workshop was held on 17-18 May 2016 at the Systems and Network Department, UNITEN Campus, Putrajaya, Malaysia.
The academic network comprising the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), the Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN), the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), and the Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) requested the orientation-workshop to: (i) gain greater understanding of build-back-better through pre-disaster recovery planning for flood as well as the possibility of integrating this concept in the academic courses; (ii) enhance the capacities of faculty members to train other lecturers, students, and practitioners on build back better through pre-disaster recovery planning, and (iii) explore the application of PDRP to achieve a more effective flood management.
About 35 academic professors, lecturers, and officials from the National Government participated the workshop - including representation from all members of the academic network, the Malaysia Civil Defence Department (JPAM), the Ministry of Education (KPM), Fire and Rescue Department (JBP), District of Kemaman, and Mercy Malaysia. Two keynote speeches were delivered to set the tone of the workshop. The first speech was delivered by Mr. Rosman Roslan, District of Officer of Kemaman, Terengganu, highlighting the district's initiative on pre-disaster recovery planning for flood. In particular, the district officer described how Kemaman facilitated the pre-arrangements with hotels and hospitals in case of floods. The second speech was delivered by Mr. Saiful Effendi of the Ministry of Education, where he described the proposed guidelines on disaster risk reduction for public schools. The group exercises of participants came up with two outputs. One was a checklist for pre-disaster recovery planning for Malaysia and the other was a set of strategies and actions for livelihoods recovery.
As for the next steps, the participants agreed to continue the discussions, either physically or virtually. Among the recommended follow-up actions were: (i) documentation of Kemaman flood recovery case and share the report to IRP/ADRC; (ii) review the IRP/ADRC materials on pre-disaster recovery planning and proposed possible module/syllabus for inclusion in academic course; and (iii) production of knowledge products on disaster recovery for flood, including handbooks designed for practitioners and policymakers. The academic network for flood management research in Malaysia is closely working with the Majlis Keselamatan Negara (National Security Council), the Meteorological Department and Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), the Kemaman Land and District Office, and the Ministry of Higher Education.