Workshops on disaster risk reduction with the emphasis on flood protection for 6th- grade students

Disaster risk reduction is an area which increasingly attracts attention with the aim to find more efficient models of mitigating the consequences of these events. The fact that a lot of people throughout the world lose their lives and economic assets because of the natural and other hazards such as floods, fires, earthquakes, droughts, etc. underlines the importance of this topic.

Although the majority of disasters cannot be prevented, we can still do a lot to reduce their consequences if we are well informed, familiarised with the preventive measures and prepared for adequate reactions. The number of disasters at the global level is on the increase as well as the intensity of their consequences, which hit all categories of the population, including children.

In other to inform the children about the activities which they could undertake and which can help them and their families stay safe in case of natural and other hazards, workshops on disaster risk reduction with the emphasis on floods were organised for the students of the 6th grades of the primary schools “Sutjeska“ in Podgorica, “Jugoslavija“ in Bar and “Maršal Tito“ in Ulcinj. The workshops were organised from 9 to 15 October 2019 and in cooperation with the representatives of the Directorate for Emergency Management from Podgorica and Bar.

During the workshops, the instructions and advice on activities before, during and after a hazard were presented to students, so as to inform them how they can reduce the negative consequences. The students were familiarised with the major risks in their municipalities such as floods, fires and earthquakes. The emphasis was on reactions before, during and after floods. Some of the topics covered include: identification of safe places for shelter in homes, identification of evacuation exits, preparation of basic items (personal documents, bottled water, canned food, etc.), responsible behaviour towards nature, etc. also, the representatives of the Directorate for Emergency Management informed the students on the European Emergency Number – 112, through which they can get the help of any emergency service – police, protection and rescue service and emergency medical assistance in Montenegro, the neighbouring countries and EU countries.

As the municipalities of Bar and Ulcinj have high seismic risks, the main instructions on behaviour in case of earthquakes and consequences of a devastating earthquake that hit Montenegro in 1979 were presented to students.  The students showed a high level of interest and actively participated in the workshops.

The workshops were organised within the project Disasters do not know borders whose aims are to strengthen the capacities of institutions and services from dealing with protection and rescue for disaster risk reduction and to raise the awareness of the local population on the risks of floods.

After the workshops, the project partners from Montenegro and Albania will organise a cross-border drawing competition on disaster risk reduction for the students. The competition will be organised in cooperation with the schools and art teachers and the awards will be provided for the best 3 works.

The project is implemented by FORS Montenegro in partnership with the Directorate for Emergency Management of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro and the Prefecture of Shkodra from Albania.

The project is financed by the European Union through Cross-border Cooperation Programme Montenegro-Albania 2014-2020. The project is co-funded in Montenegro by the Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro.