Start date: June 2007- November 2008
Budget: USD 130'400
Implementing Agency: Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent Society (KRCS)
Donor: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Domain: Water management and disaster risk reduction
Due to its geographical location in an active seismic zone and its mountainous landscape Kyrgyz Republic is a disaster-prone country. Out of 70 worldwide spread disaster types, more than 20 types are typical to the territory of Kyrgyzstan. Earthquakes, landslides, mudflows, avalanches etc. cause serious damage to both human life and country economy: Earthquakes are of special concern. Kyrgyzstan counts annually some 3,000 tremors and about 10 - 12 earthquakes (so far with limited damage). Some earthquakes out of the series since December 26, 2006 reached a magnitude of up to 6.0 on the Richter scale. There were no serious casualties from any of these earthquakes, but several thousand buildings - including dwelling houses, schools and medical facilities - were damaged, and some totally destroyed.
During the Soviet time, the dissemination of information and the introduction of rules of behaviour during earthquakes were actively implemented by the Civil Defence Departments. Nowadays modern training methods of basic disaster awareness are not developed and used, and today preparedness of people in the country on earthquake safety becomes more and more urgent.
According to preliminary assessments, about 3.3 millions people live in houses, which are not able to stand the expected strong earthquakes in the Kyrgyz Republic. This corresponds to over 60% of the population, which is exposed to risks and can be affected by the destroying effects of the earthquakes. According to the emergency officials and seismology experts there will be a considerable increase of seismic activity in Tien Shan mountain range in the coming years. Strong earthquakes that could measure up to 7 to 8 on the Richter scale are anticipated in and around Kemin and Kochkor districts in the north of Kyrgyzstan and in mountainous areas of the south, particularly the Ferghana and Alai mountain ranges, including areas close to the Tajik and the Chinese border.
Swiss government started to assist Central Asian Republics in disaster reduction efforts in 2003. Disaster reduction became one of the five main domains of cooperation for Swiss regional cooperation strategy in 2007-2010 in Central Asia. The programme mostly concentrates on Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The regional context analysis of the strategy was reviewed during the Mid-Term Review (MTR) in October 2006. One of the outcomes of the MTR was the need to scale up DR activities in Kyrgyzstan in 2007 and to extend the DRP beyond 2008. In the frame of DRP SCC supported since 2005 the Central Asian Regions Earthquake Safety Initiative (CARESI). It was decided to replicate the experience of CARESI with some adaptations in Kyrgyzstan within the framework of Kyrgyzstan Earthquake Safety Initiative Project (KESI).
The KESI project was implemented by the Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent Society (KRCS), that has an important role in disaster preparedness and response activities in Kyrgyzstan. Disaster management is a priority area for the KRCS as it has good knowledge and experience in relief operations. In 2003, with the support of DIPECHO, KRCS started disaster preparedness programs for the communities in the South of Kyrgyzstan.
Overall the project:
• Minimized and alleviated the disaster affects of earthquakes by providing training materials;
• A strong, effective and comprehensive nationwide earthquake awareness campaign was established in coordination with other organizations that are working in the field of disaster preparedness in Kyrgyzstan;
• The monitoring system was established in order to observe the long-term impact of the trainings and the progress achieved.
During 18 months (June 2007 - November 2008) KESI project was focused on dissemination of basic disaster awareness education materials in Kyrgyzstan. These materials included: instructor guidelines to conduct trainings; education materials for schools, hospitals, villages, and public; handbooks for school, hospital administrations, Ministries etc. The Project promoted Earthquake safety information to be included into the national obligatory school curriculum through approve of the Ministry of Education.
This page was last updated: November 2009