JICA’s issue-specific training course for 2016 “Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management (B)”


   Kochi University held the JICA international training course “Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management (B)” from Wednesday, August 24 to Wednesday, September 28.

  This training course was commissioned to Kochi University by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as part of Japan’s official development assistance (ODA). In the training, 14 administrative officials from ten different countries vulnerable to tsunami and other natural disasters (Chili, Guyana, Grenada and Jamaica from South America and the Caribbean Sea; Palau, Nauru, Fiji and the Solomon Islands from Oceania; and the Philippines and Bangladesh from Asia) took part in study tours and lectures concerning the disaster management initiatives of the national government, municipal governments, voluntary disaster management organizations, and so on, initiatives mainly preparing for the Nankai megathrust earthquake, etc., by visiting disaster affected areas in Kobe City, Miyagi Prefecture, and then Kochi Prefecture.

  In their first destination, Kobe, participants gave presentations on the present circumstances surrounding disaster management in their own countries as “country reports” and learned about Japan’s disaster management measures, as well as community disaster management (voluntary disaster management measures implemented on the initiative of local people), actively promoted in Kobe. After this, they moved to Miyagi Prefecture, where they extended their knowledge of the current state of recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and future disaster management plans from the viewpoints of both administrative authorities and local residents.

  In their final destination, Kochi Prefecture, they had study tours of construction sites for a triple defense system aimed at reducing tsunami damage by retrofitting three areas (Kochi New Port, and inside and outside of Urado Bay) to protect against earthquakes, guided by Civil Engineering Office staff members. They were also given lectures by staff members of the prefectural government and meteorological observatory about disaster management measures being taken at the administrative level.

  Furthermore, they also visited Nakatosa Town, known to be particularly vulnerable to tsunami, to find out what efforts were being made by the Nakatosa Town Government directly from the government employee in charge of anti-tsunami measures. Then, at Kure Elementary School, they participated in a fieldwork program in which they walked around the elementary school, with the students, to learn and experience, what hazards there could be in the event of a disaster. Besides those on Nankai megathrust earthquakes, programs on many different kinds of disasters, such as floods, soil liquefaction, and landslides, were also implemented, providing participants with comprehensive learning on disaster management measures.

  At the end of the course, participants developed action plans for their respective home countries and made a wide range of proposals, including enhancement of seismic retrofitting of public facilities, creation of disaster preparedness maps and initiatives for increasing public awareness about disaster preparedness at the community level.
  Participants shared their thoughts saying, “It has been made clear to me that perfect disaster management is only possible when tangible aspects, such as evacuation towers, and intangible aspects, like regular evacuation drills, are appropriately combined.” “I have learned how important it is for all related individuals and organizations, such as the prefectural and municipal governments, experts and local residents, to work together and reinforce the relationship between them for disaster management.” “I am impressed by the efforts that have been made by local communities in Kochi Prefecture to increase public awareness about the importance of self-help and mutual aid in a disaster. I would like to run similar awareness building campaigns back in my own country.”
  Kochi University is planning to continue to implement international training courses by making use of regional resources.




Opening ceremony


Study tour of Godaisan Observation Deck


Round-table conversation with temporary housing
residents in Minami Sanriku Town in Tohoku


Evacuation simulation game
at Tanezaki Tsunami Evacuation Center