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Role of Local Administrations in the Formation of Society Resistant to Disasters Workshop Begins 10 May 2018

“Role of Local Administrations Resistant to Disaster” workshop organized by the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) which will focus on contributions of local administrations in disaster management began in the southwestern provincial center of Kocaeli

Head of AFAD Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu, Kocaeli Governor Hüseyin Aksoy and Kocaeli Metropolitan Mayor İbrahim Karaosmanoğlu as well as local and international experts participated in the workshop supported by the United Nations and the European Council.

Speaking during the opening of workshop, Kocaeli Governor Hüseyin Aksoy said that the workshop will mainly review risk reduction activities during the times of emergencies in cities, focus on contribution of local administrations in disaster management and discuss some fundamental concepts such as urban risk and planning.

Noting that important projects were carried out in Kocaeli within this framework, Aksoy stated, “Kocaeli had witnessed the Marmara Earthquake in 1999 and it is one of the cities that has serious experience in disaster management. Among the projects we had to complete in the short run is the demolishment of buildings which were damaged during the 1999 earthquake.”

Meanwhile, Kocaeli Metropolitan Mayor İbrahim Karaosmanoğlu stressed that state and local administrations have important duties in order to prevent damages that may occur due to disasters and said that Kocaeli has completed many important projects about taking measures against disasters.

"Local administrations are the leading actors in disasters”

Head of AFAD Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu said that population in cities as well as the number of disasters in the work has increased and population in cities which was 30 percent in 1950s had exceeded to 50 percent today adding that this fact also increases the damage risk due to disasters in cities.

Noting that there are various different types of disasters such as earthquakes, floods and heatwaves, Güllüoğlu stressed that the United Nations has been carrying out “Resistant City Campaign” in an effort to form a platform where different local administrations would have the opportunity to exchange their experiences on disasters.

Gülüüoğlu stated that local administrators from Yalova, Kocaeli, İstanbul, Gaziantep and Antalya participated in the workshop in order to share their experiences with UN representatives and learn about examples from different parts of the world.

Güllüoğlu said, "Local administrations are the leading actors in disaster management. Central authorities such as AFAD and related Ministries have important roles both in determining policies and collecting budget, however, taking measures and learning more about the effects of disaster at the local level is also important especially in order to raise awareness in the society.

Noting that there are 3 main principles of forming a resistant city, Güllüğlu said:

“First of all, understanding and defining the risk. Risk in Gaziantep is different from the risk in İstanbul, like the risk in Yalova is different from the risk in Antalya. In one province, earthquake risk is higher while flood, forest fire or drought risk is higher in another province. Secondly, planning all kinds of local management services according to risks and making investments within this framework. Thirdly, safe buildings and safe facilities. If we achieve to consider all these three principles, there will be less loss of life and property.

Following the keynote speeches, sessions of the workshop were held.

Good implementation examples from the world and Turkey will be shared during the first day of the workshop. Second day of the workshop will focus on problems, potentials and solution proposals about forming resistant cities.

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