Elena Gregoria Chai Chin Fern

  • Senior Lecturer, University Malaysia Sarawak
  • Malaysia
    • Intellectual Exchange
    • Environmental Protection/Disaster Prevention
  • The Asia Center Fellowship Program
  • Grant Year: Fiscal Year 2017
November 28, 2017 - May 27, 2018
Country of Activity

Developing Disaster Relief Protocol for Riverine Communities in Sarawak, Malaysia

The project examines the coping mechanisms used by local communities living along the Rajang River, the longest river in the state of Sarawak (East Malaysia). Disasters such as flood and riverbank erosion are among the commonly occurring disasters along the river. In time of distress, help from local agencies and government usually arrives very slowly because some of these areas are very remote and difficult to access. In such situations, the communities themselves have come up with their own mechanisms to alleviate the problems at the first instance when a disaster occurs. While in Japan, discussions and field visits have been conducted with Japanese experts in fields of hydrology, river engineering, disaster response systems, firefighting, GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and gender studies to better understand Japanese disaster management and mitigation plans. Japanese disaster management’s “Self-help, Mutual help and Public help” principle is an important element in creating balanced disaster risk reduction and promoting higher resiliency among communities living in disaster-prone areas that could be emulated by the Malaysian authorities.

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