Disaster preparedness: UNFPA, HelpAge train Snr Citizens
The disaster preparedness training programmes, conducted by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and HelpAge Sri Lanka, during the past three months, ended on a high note with over 1,300 Senior Citizens in the Southern Province receiving benefits.
The objective of the programme is to strengthen disaster preparedness capacity of elderly citizens and the building capacities of Senior Citizen Committees (SCC) in several vulnerable areas that are occasionally prone to natural disasters.
According to the programme, both UNFPA and HelpAge visited the remote villages of Welivitita-Divithura, Niyagama, Thihagoda and Mulathiyana in the Southern Provincial Council to train personnel on important rescue operations and first aid treatments that should be conducted during emergencies such as flood situations, heavy rains, earth slips and thunder storms.
At least 200 members in elder societies, 160 representatives of voluntary organisations and also 160 government officials attended the training programmes conducted with the assistance of four heads in the respective Divisional Secretariats.
HelpAge Programme Manager Chanminda de Silva demonstrated the participant officials how to rescue victims during floods and thunder showers in areas where elders live.
HelpAge M&E Officer Swarna Ekanayake also conducted training programmes for elders on ageing.
HelpAge, Executive Director Samantha Liyanawaduge highlighted that HelpAge Sri Lanka is at the forefront of creating a better safer environment for Sri Lankan elders by implementing many social service programmes and projects islandwide.
He said, under this project needy elders will be provided with wheelchairs, walkers, beds and first aid boxes with medicines that can be used during disaster situations.
Executive Director Liyanawaduge said, “Our flagship programme is to perform cataract surgeries on underprivileged elderly citizens free of charge at HelpAge Eye Hospital at Sinsapa Road, Wellawatte,Colombo 6,”