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Preparing against floods

Sep 01, 2008

WaterAid India has developed information, education and communication material for its disaster preparation programme in the flood affected districts of Bihar. These resources comprising posters and audio files in the local language are aimed at educating people about precautions to be taken during such calamities.

WaterAid India's northern regional office and the Government of Bihar's Department of Disaster Preparedness are carrying out a disaster preparation programme in five districts of Bihar - Muzzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Samsastipur and Sitamarhi.

WaterAid has developed the information, education and communication material for the programme, which is being supported by the Integrated Development Foundation, one of WaterAid's partners working in the districts.

The main focus of this project is the provision of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation to communities during flooding and the material has been designed accordingly.

The language of communication is Hindi which is widely understood in this region. The slogan included in all the print and non print media is: 'Knowledge saves lives during floods and storms.'

An audio slot will be broadcast through local radio channels regularly during the onslaught of floods in the region. The audio slots and jingles deal with the following issues:

• The source of drinking water during floods should be  protected hand pumps and water should be consumed after chlorination
• The health hazards of consumption of unsafe water during floods, e.g. contamination from diarrhoea
• Usage of latrines on high elevation regions of the village for defection

The posters also deal with the above issues and precautions needed to be taken during floods like safe handling practices for water and washing of hands.

The posters have been designed to be displayed on walls at prominent and highly frequented locations and have even been made as stickers meant to be used on the rear of cycle rickshaws, buses and cars.

The graphics used in the posters are contextualised and convey the information simply so that even the illiterate and semi literate persons may be able to understand and recall the messages.

Source : WaterAid
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