The Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) conducted a workshop via the engineering and planning Hub on Disaster Risk Management (DRM) at the local authorities, with the aim of introducing DRM at both local and national levels, promoting its planning process in the Palestinian local authorities, presenting the experiences of Palestinian local authorities with this regard, as well as developing proposals and trainings. The event took place in the presence and participation of APLA's Technical and Legal Support Unit Manager, Eng. Abdelmo'men Afanah, the Engineering and Planning Hub Coordinator, Eng. Murad Al-Tamimi, in addition to 51 other participants from the Engineering departments at local authorities.
TSU Manager, Eng. Afanah started the workshop with a warm welcome of all participants and speakers, explaining that the Technical Hubs allow the employees of local authorities to present their experiences and exchange knowledge on priority issues for their local authorities, contributing to the enhancement of local authorities' capacities. Eng. Afanah indicated that the significance of this workshop lies in the fact DRM became an urgent need for local authorities to develop and institutionalize within the local authorities' plans.
The National Center for Disaster Risk Management (PALDRM), represented by Eng. Amer Jaradat and Eng. Shatha Qasrawi presented a brief introduction about the center and the concept of DRM in Palestine, in addition to the center's tasks and trends, as well as the justification for establishing a national system for DRM. The goals for the upcoming phase of work, which is to conduct a multi-hazards assessment and its subsequent risks and mapping, develop guidelines on planning for resilience on a local level, drafting resilience plans for local authorities, and drafting the resilience standards for vital infrastructures, and building the capacities of PALDRM.
Meanwhile, Eng. Abdelhakim Al-Jowhari, presented the role of the Engineers Association in mitigating disasters and cooperating with local authorities, and the DRM concerns in engineering designs, addressing the definition of resilience or resilient construction, the parties and requirements of acquiring resilience, and the role of control in mitigating disasters. Moreover, there is a set of possible interventions to support local authorities in addressing DRM.
In their capacity, as representatives of their local authorities, Eng. Nabil Talahmeh presented the experience of Hebron Municipality in DRM including the working mechanism of competent municipal departments and the design criteria for projects. Dr. Amal Hudhud, presented the planning requirements for DRM at Nablus Municipality, and the municipality's experience under the UNDRR Making Cities Resilient Program. Eng. Hazem Amro, presented the experience of Dura Municipality in managing the crisis of operating Dura Hospital, from the preparation and prevention stage all the way to municipality partnerships with the local community and Ministry of Health, and the role of Ministries and governmental institutions.
It is worth mentioning that the workshop is part of the Municipal Technical Exchange Hubs project, implemented in partnership between APLA and the Local Governance Reform Program LGRP-GIZ. The technical hubs program includes five hubs; engineering and planning hub, financial management hub, public relations hub, village councils' hub, and innovation hub.