Moment of Silence observed at several places to mark the moment.
UNISDR News Desk Asia – An inter-regional, ten day summit has been organized by academicians of SAARC region universities to mark the 11th anniversary of Tsunami. Led by Justice (R) S.S. Paru, the summit ascribes resolutions of institutional significance concerning the disaster risk reduction (DRR).
The Asian Tsunami of 2004 is considered to be the most devastating disaster of modern history. It devastated almost 9 major oceanic sectors of Asia, leaving over 5 million people as homeless, hundreds of thousands as displaced, and a toll rate exceeding 287,000.
The horrific, massive waves triggered by an earthquake of 9.1 magnitude (one of the history’s biggest tremors), roared across the oceanic rim and rumbled along to hit more than a dozen countries around the Indian ocean rim including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Sumatra, Thailand, and reached the East African zones of Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania.
Eradicating communities, devastating towns and cities and ruining the lands, the 2004’s Tsunami left billions of human eyes teared, hearts sorrowed and the nations mourned – marking one of the toughest moral tests for the rest of humanity – a hardest trial of human solidarity, for the whole world.
Still, there remain numerous areas where the Tsunami victim populations have not recovered their lives fully. And, notably, still there remain certain communities populated in the coastal areas, prone to high risks of natural calamities.
In order to mark the solemn inscriptive commemorations of the Asian Tsunami of 2004, each year on 26th of December, people from different walks of life along with thousands of the survivors use to gather on the shorelines in the coastal zones of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Sumatra and Thailand.
Moments of silence are observed at several places to mark the moment that set fixed the entire world in grief.
As the year 2015, categorically marks the last round-up for Hyogo Framework of Action, as well as the conclusive year for the UN-MDGs, the observance got an extraordinary extended significance.
“Disasters can occur anywhere, anytime, at any location, to any society. The past few decades have witnessed a significant increase in natural disasters. According to the UN statistics, nearly 400-500 natural disasters and calamities take place annually.”
“The 2015’s Summit of Asian Tsunami is intended to switch on and amplify the critical issues of the UN’s DRR-HFA, especially for the regions that are most prone to disasters. Instituting the KAKHTAH DRR Multiversity is the first milestone towards the priority concerns of disaster-prone regions, particularly in academic perspectives,” says the summit’s official note on the occasion.
The enormous observance also divulged a Post-doc Multiversity KAKHTAH, to be established in Asia for higher research studies on disaster risk reduction.
Emergence of KAKHTAH DRR Multiversity:
Besides the utmost wreckage desolation, and unprecedented scale of destruction, Tsunami-2004 brought forth a way to measure the ‘real impact factor’ in terms of the actual ‘on-ground renderings’ conceded thereupon.
In 2006-7, an opinion poll was commissioned in hard-hit areas, in order to have the refugees, the survivors and the victims their own say for – ‘who did what for them’ – that brought some meant-content for them in the aftermaths of the highest-observed devastating catastrophe of the last two millennia’s recorded history of natural cataclysms.
The outcome of ‘Tsunami Opinion Polls’, coupled with inter-institutional and academic consensus, evoked the unanimity in lieu of a historic resolution for instituting an ISDR Multiversity, DRR repositories in Asian region and a scholarship medal named ‘KASTAH’, that, at the instant has been renamed ‘KAKHTAH’ for the same 2006’s outcome.
The KAKHTAH multiversity is named after those who became responsible for bringing forth some real ‘difference’ during the hard test of human solidarity, through their meritorious renderings. The multiversity is dedicated for DRR studies at post-doctoral level.
Title-Ovation of KAKHTAH Multiversity:
The revolutionary-edged KAKHTAH multiversity and scholarship medal gets its title-ovation after the two individual entities and the two organizational bodies – 1: Kofi Annan – the former UN secretary general, who paid prompt visits in far-remote affected areas with an aim to have a first-hand knowledge of the ground situation. He himself prompted for the actual circumstantial state-of-affairs, instead of relying on the executive summaries – rightly setting a new custom and tradition in the hierarchical pyramids, 2: Helen Keller Intl – a US based international organization that immediately incited the emergency humanitarian services in Tsunami’s Indonesia’s hardest-hit regions, saving the lives where needed right by the moment of need, 3: Tzu-chi Foundation – a multi-regional NGO from Taiwan, having one of the largest networks with representations and physical presence in almost all continents throughout the world, whose volunteers remained on-board for over three years for long-term Tsunami relief works, 4: Aurangzeb Hafi – an independent multi-disciplinary arch-researcher and philanthropist from Pakistan, who foremostly conceptualized, directed, and almost single-handedly kept-paced all major research projects concerning the disability related constituencies and ivories during Tsunami. On account of ‘disability inclusiveness’ trend-settings, Prof. Hafi can justly and righteously be credited for pioneering the cutting-edge concepts of pre-birth multiple disabilities risk assessment, embryonic toxicity and teratogenic proneness factor analysis among pregnant women and the disability+pregnancy inclusive special protocols in cataclysmic emergencies and DRR modus of executional frameworks.
For more details: http://unesco-isdr-asia.org/kakhtah-multiversity-drr-digital-repository/
The historic, new-fangled KAKHTAH multiversity medal escorted with a 2.7 Million GBP scholarship is proclaimed to be bestowed into 1900 global academic ivories, on a biennial basis, for estimable post-doctoral research works in the areas of disaster management, catastrophic policy lay-outs, cataclysmic forecasting and calamity prevention methodologies.
The seven members conferring jury for KAKHTAH scholarship medal, that includes national and regional academic celebrities, is chaired by Justice(R) S.S. Paru, L.L.D., D.Litt., from Indonesia. Sri Lanka’s ombudsman Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria, who had been Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Zealand and Australia, has been designated for serving as the senior assessor of jury. Dr. Faisar N.M., Dr. E.M. Navaratne and Dr. Alex Jayawardene are also adherent-members.
A selection slate named ‘Tsunami Slate of Merit’ was made with the view to reckon-surmise the real ‘on-ground impact factor’ of different institutional entities, relief projects and individuals with reference to Tsunami.
The selection slate draped a summing-up of 17 out-scored projects and 21 organizations. Amongst them are, the Oxfam, Save the Children, SOS, Rotary International, MAVSO Intl, Peak Freans-English Biscuits Manufacturers Ltd., Shadow Intl., and some regional and local organizations.
A laurel of distinction ‘Tsunami’s Dame of Merit’ has been bequeathed on Dr. Bareera N. B., a Pakistani anthropologist, who rendered her services for Tsunami affected women, and came forward to accomplish EBM’s mission of food-supplements provisions in Tsunami refugees’ camps to address the mal-nutrition in babies as well as women. A scroll of gratitude has been given to the Pakistani anthropologist for her services in Tsunami relief works.
Famous River Kawai’s bridge has been renamed as ‘KAKHTAH-Tsunami Bridge’ to mark the significance of DRR efforts in Tsunamis and other natural disasters.
A resolution has been unanimously passed by academicians from all major universities belonging to the Tsunami-hit costal belt of Asia, which acclaims to establish KAKHTAH Post-doc Multiversity DRR Repositories across the region, along with a post-doc scholarship for DRR studies under the UN-HFA and Post-HFA ISDR.
In several universities within the SAARC and ASEAN regions, a number of ‘KAKHTAH Disaster Forecasting Centers’ and ‘KAKHTAH DRR Repositories’ are decided to be instituted with a vision of cross-boundary and cross-disciplinary integration for disaster preparedness.
UNESCO chair at Punjab University becomes the first to establish the KAKHTAH repository in Pakistan, for disaster forecasting and preparedness, affirm the VC Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran and Dr. Khalida M. Khan, holder of the UNESCO chair and DESIMGOW research moderator at PU.
The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström said: “It should be remembered that the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami galvanised political commitment to reducing disaster risk and disaster losses. The memory of that event helped to ensure the adoption of the Sendai Framework this year which sets targets for the first time on reducing mortality from disasters.”
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Principal investigator of SAIRI Research Initiative, Prof. Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi emphasized on ‘disability-inclusive and pregnancy-inclusive protocols’ in disasters management policy frameworks. Prof. Hafi is credited for pioneering the cutting-edge concepts of pre-birth multiple disabilities risk assessment, embryonic toxicity and teratogenic proneness factor analysis among pregnant women during Tsunami 2004, along with his fabled DESPO appraisals on disability+pregnancy inclusive special protocols in cataclysmic emergencies and DRR modus of pre-disastrous as well as post-disastrous phases.
Consisting of 23 formal academic sessions, and 9 high-level round the table panel discussions, the ‘2015 Summit of Asian Tsunami’ is scheduled to be concluded by the UNISDR-SAARC conjoint institutional stretch-term by 1/10/2016.
The 2015’s Tsunami Summit contributed for the major reforms and thematic parts of the Post-HFA ISDR.
To mark the 11th observance, a website www.asiantsunami.org has been dedicated for catering the information needs of public as well as the academia, concerning the tsunamis.
Recommendations of ‘KAKHTAH UN-DRR Initiative’ are made to the governments and other quarters of relevance, on strategic as well as thematic issues, which include; early warning system, emergency action plans, disaster preparedness with a major emphasis on ‘marginal groups (especially the disabled, the children, the pregnant women and the older persons) inclusive’ schema-protocols.
References & Further Readings:
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Contact Person: Dr. Alex Jayawerdane
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