Resilient City Programme, Sri Lanka

Centre for Disaster Resilience at the University of Salford is working very closely with the Batticaloa District’s local government and a range of national and international partners towards improvement in the ten steps for city resilience.

In response to the Global assessment Report 2011 on Disaster Risk Reduction and the state of disaster risks and progress on various disaster risk reduction mechanisms, including identifying capacity building mechanisms in these important areas, CDR undertook a project entitled “Capacity Development for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Built Environment”.

CDR was a key partner of the national launch of the making cities resilient to disasters initiative.

They were the lead facilitator of a session on “Ten-point Checklist - Essentials for Making Cities Resilient” as part of the Resilient City Programme, Sri Lanka - Disaster Risk Management Training Program for Local Government Councils, organised by the Ministry of Disaster Management Sri Lanka and Disaster Management Centre, Sri Lanka in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka in March 2012. Participants included representatives from Mannar UC, Eravur UC and Batticaloa MC and District DMC Assistant Directors

There was also an International Workshop on Disaster Risk reduction and Resilient Cities, Batticaloa, Eastern Sri Lanka, June 2010. Resilient Cities Initiative 2010 – 2011 in collaboration with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and a session on "Disaster Risk Reduction through capacity building - Sharing and Managing the Lessons Learnt from Asian Tsunami", Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Disaster Management Centre . this was carried out as part of the International Symposium on "Impact of Post Disaster Waste Management towards Disaster Risk Reduction, National Symposium on Promoting Knowledge transfer to Strengthen Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adoption", Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2010.

Through strong commitment for implementation of disaster risk reduction policies, CDR is:

  • Working closely with the local authorities in committing to disaster risk reduction through for example, programmes associated with capacity building
  • Collaborating in applied research projects on risk management and reduction in local government environments;
  • Making its expertise available to local governments and the public at large;
  • Adapting the science agenda to emphasise this paramount research topic and advance the state-of-the art in risk reduction;
  • Making risk knowledge, assessments and risk reduction part of the university curricula for urban planners, architects, engineers, geographers and similar disciplines, as well as a cross disciplinary subject.

A report jointly prepared by CDR and Disaster Management Centre, Ministry of Disaster Management, Sri Lanka entitled Making Cities Resilient How Local Governments Reducing Disaster Risks – Sri Lanka Case Study 2012 can be accessed here.

CDR has worked with the Sri Lankan city of Batticaloa’s Mayor, Local Government and construction industry in developing the city’s resilience to disaster. Specific activities included capacity development of industry and local government with respect to awareness of disaster resilience in the built environment, knowledge management, economic impact assessment, and waste management. Further, Salford actively took part in the local government nominations process and is already working with “Batticaloa District” in Eastern Sri Lanka, in respect of a nomination for “Resilient City Participant” status. The District was severely affected due to the 2004 Tsunami and by the country’s 30 year long civil war.

Objectives of the Workshop included:

  • To discuss and establish the concept of “Resilient Cities” around the City of Batticaloa
  • Agree set of activities including idea for proposals for potential research bids/projects with links to UNISDR Resilient Cities Campaign
  • To explore, discuss and formulate an effective bidding strategy in responding to this initiative in submitting proposals to Sri Lanka National and Local Government, the World
  • Bank, UNDP and the British High Commission in Sri Lanka.
  • Explore further possibilities of support from the Industry, NGOs and INGOs and other Government bodies for future bidding.
  • Plan future activities with links to Resilient Cities initiative
  • To establish potential research topic areas worthy of research investigation in the areas of disaster risk reduction