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two boys drinking clean water from a water pump

Disaster risk reduction

Often the first to respond when disaster strikes, Islamic Relief provides lifesaving aid to vulnerable families whose lives are torn apart by conflict and natural disasters. However, our emergency interventions are not just about responding to crises quickly, but also help build the resilience of communities, helping to ensure that communities are better prepared and protected when disaster strikes. 

We minimise the impact of disasters on vulnerable communities through reducing risks and hazards, training them to respond and recover, enabling them to adapt and building their resilience long-term.

Islamic Relief helps communities adapt to the effects of climate change and bring about long-term social resilience, making sure that the needs of the most vulnerable are considered.

We also work with local and national governments to implement disaster risk strategies.

Examples of our work around the globe 

Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia 

We ran an extensive disaster resilience programme in Sigi, Indonesia, an area devastated by earthquakes and a tsunami. Islamic Relief supported communities to build shock- resistant infrastructure such as schools and provide training to better protect themselves from future disasters. 

We also worked with the government to develop better disaster management and recovery systems through the programme. 

In Palu, we have run disaster simulations to build the confidence and experience of local authorities in their emergency response. We are planting bamboo by riverbanks to create a barrier against flooding, and ensuring that local communities know what to do in the event of a disaster.

Flood-resistant homes in Myanmar 

Many families in Sin Tet Maw camp in Myanmar’s Rakhine State lived in damaged shelters which did little to protect them from the elements. Islamic Relief then ran a project to construct 175 substantial shelters from materials designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. .

“Now that our shelter problem has been addressed, we’re prepared for the monsoon and I can focus my energy in creating a better life for my family. I venture out of the camp and look for any work available, like working in farms or doing domestic labour in the nearby village” says mother-of-three Daw.

Family standing outside their home
Daw and her family outside their home, provided by Islamic Relief

Food and water storage systems 

Our solar-powered boreholes offer a long-term solution to water scarcity and provide water to thousands of people. The water is pumped from the ground, using electricity generated from solar panels, making it a reliable clean, sustainable solution – even in the most remote areas.

Here at Islamic Relief, we also provide families with the tools and knowledge to gather rainwater in their local area, so that they can later utilise this water to grow food should rains fail. This way of catching and storing water works well for people who live in hilly or mountainous terrains, offering crucial water security. It also means that they have access to clean water without the need for the daily long and arduous journeys. 

Early warning systems 

Islamic Relief also implements early warning systems in regions prone to natural disasters to help prepare communities and minimise their impact. 

Our warning systems helps protect many families across the globe. For example, in 2020 Bangladesh experienced intense flooding when the monsoon season began. An early warning system we developed in collaboration with other humanitarian organisations helped 200,000 people to protect themselves from floods. 

We also train farmers to use drought- tolerant seeds and early warning systems to reduce their vulnerability to fluctuating market prices. 

We also support communities to help rebuild their lives and livelihoods in the aftermath of disaster.

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