Improving Crisis &
Emergency Risk
Communication in
Surinam
Sarjan Mathoerapersad
Moses Deveaux
Rochelle Christopher
Delwin Ferguson
Introduction
This Strategic plan seeks to:
 Improving Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication
in Surinam


Major Disasters - Flooding (May 2006)
Other common disaster
 Man Made (MVA. Explosions etc)
 Air Accident (1989)

Background of the problems
Flooding.
Survey showing
 Rural remote areas
 Poor communications
 Length of time to receive
communications
 Not accessible to everyone
 Language barriers-approx. 6 diff.
languages
 Apathy
Background of the problems
Flooding.
Survey Shows
 Little or no schooling
 Poverty
 Low lying houses/riverbank houses
Surinam
Northern coast of South America,
bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on
the North, Guyana to the West,
French Guiana to the East and
Brazil to the South.
Surinam
Surinam is a land
of enormous
cultural diversity
 One of the few
spots in the world
where the tropical
rainforest still
completely virginal.

Surinam
Population = 436,494
Hindustani = 37 %
Creole (Black) = 31
%
Japanese = 15 %
Amerindian = 2 %
Chinese = 2 %
White = 1 %
Other = 2 %
Surinam
 Weather
and Climate in Surinam
Tropical humid climate with dry and
rainy seasons.
a. The short rainy season in Dec-Jan.
b. Long rainy season from April -July.
c. Long Dry season Aug – Nov
d. Dry season Feb – April
Survey - State of readiness
What do they have
 Newspapers once a week – remote
areas
 Telecommunications
 Tourism trade in the jungle
 Cell phones in the tourism trade
place
 Generators at night
 Central dispatch in the city
 Emergency services in the city
Survey - State of readiness
What do they have (cont)
 Malaria – DOH vaccinate tourist &
residents
 80%effective communication
Means of communication
radio
 Television
 Cell phones
 Internet
 People
 News media
 Pamphlets
 Town hall meetings

Means of communication
Conferences
 Workshops
 Schools
 Meetings – clubs,
agencies
 Churches
 Library
 Drum messages

Blackberry
 Sat. phones
 Whistle
 SMS
 Ham messages
 Runner
 Flags
 Morse Code

Current tools for
Risk Communication.
Accessibility
 Central dispatch – 80%
 Telephone – 80%
 Radio – 80%
 Television – 80%
 Internet – 70%
 Schools – 80%
 News media – 100%
Current tools for
Risk Communication
Accessibility cont’d
Library – 70%
Drum messages – 20%
Agency meetings – 70%
Conferences/workshops – 70%
VISION
100% OF THE POPULATION OF
SURINAM WILL HAVE ACCESS TO A
MEANS OF COMMUNICATION IN
REGARDS TO CRISIS/EMERGENCY
NOTIFICATIONS
MISSION
TO ENSURE THAT THE RESIDENTS
OF SURINAM’S REMOTE AREAS HAVE
A MEANS OF ACCESS TO
COMMUNICATION IN REGARDS TO
CRISIS/EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION
BY MARCH 2008.
Goal
 To
improve Emergency
Communication systems in Surinam
within the next five years.
Objectives
To install community flood warning
systems in rural communities.
 To train members of the communities to
manually monitor the flood warning
system.
 To install an automatic flood warning
system
 To ensure a redundancy system is
installed
 To implement long term measures to
improve means of communication.

Risk Assessment
The pre-requisite to any Early Warning
System you must do a risk
analysis/assessment.
Based on a simple analysis of rainfall
levels, the system lets local
communities be on guard against
flood hazards without requiring fancy
technology or expensive
telecommunications.
Early Warning System
Water level measurements installed at
strategic location in each village
 Each warning level will be colour coded
 Each observer will be supplied with a
Govt. funded cell phone
 Warning sirens will be mounted for
villagers
 Automatic alarm for monitoring station

Warning system
Audio
Pre-warning – short beeps
Warning – long beeps followed by
pause
Visual
Pre-warning – water at orange level
Warning – water at red level
Warning system
Telecommunication
Pre-warning – call observers on cell phone
Warning – call observers on cell phone
- call Water Management Dept.
Physical
Pre-warning – village to village visitation
using megaphone by community
volunteers
Warning – Door to door visitation by
community volunteers
Plan of Action
Training
Ministry of works
staff/volunteers/community members
Financing
 Department of Finance – secure funding
Health Education
 Department of Health – health education
 DOE/DOH – Public Awareness programs
Implementation
Secure funding from Finance to purchase
equipment and training supplies
 Poll the villages for the volunteer
observers
 Submit project out to tenders.
 Secure the experts (consultants) to train
the staff how to monitor the system (inhouse)
 Secure company to install monitoring
system

Implementation
 Secure
training stations for the
villagers
 Install
the system to be ready for
action when training is completed.
Indicators
Mar– June 2007 Receive Funds from
Finance Ministry.
 Aug – Sept 2007 Commence training of
Village personnel .
 Aug – Sept 2007 Commence training of
the MOW & WRA.
 Nov 2007 Install project in designated
area. (Pre test Dec – Jan).
 March 2008 Completion & Handover to
Village

Preventative Maintenance
Basic preventative maintenance program
for all equipment
 Regular upgrade in equipment (budgeted)
 Yearly upgrade or update in training
 Maintain a current register of the village
observers
 Continue working relationship/Partnership
with Govt/ NGOs & Stakeholders

Budget
Equipment: US$ 10,000
 Installation: 175 x $ 2,500 = US$ 437,500
 Wall meters: 175 x $ 25 = US$ 43,750
 Incidentals: US$ 10,000
 Training: US$ 10,000
 Total: US$ 511,250

( 175 = villages flooded)
Challenges
 Allocation
and distribution of govt.
funds
 Cost of maintaining the system
 Threats of violence in maintaining
the system
 Security
 Sustainability of community
involvement
THANK YOU.
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