Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 04 July 2022 8.42 PM IST

Monsoon preparedness program for livestock and companion animals in Wayanad


WAYANAD: In a first for the state, Humane Society International (HSI) India in collaboration with the District administration, Jilla Panchayat, Local Self Governance Department, Animal Husbandry Department and Kudumbashree mission of Wayanad has initiated a monsoon preparedness program for animals against floods and landslide risk in the highly vulnerable Gram Panchayats of the district. The program is being conducted in the disaster-prone panchayats of the district in order to protect the livestock and companion animals from floods and landslides risk in the upcoming monsoon season. The major actions beings taken place as a part of the program are a) building capacity of the local self- governance agencies at ward level, self- help groups, rescue teams etc. to promote disaster preparedness for animals b) development of a disaster rescue and first aid team for animals at ward level c) identifying potential temporary shelter locations for animals at ward level and most importantly, c) wide dissemination of IEC materials in the form of posters and banners within the rural community in all hazard prone panchayats with highest livestock population.

As a part of the capacity building initiative, training sessions were conducted on the most hazard prone panchayats of Wayanad (Panamaram, Muppainad, Meppadi, Thirunelli) with highest livestock population. Representatives from the Panchayats including the President, Vice President, Ward Members, and District Emergency Operations Cell’s personnel felicitated the programs. The two day training program discussed about the general preparedness measures, first aid for animals, identification of vulnerable locations in each ward & locations to evacuate the animals, usage of maps during emergencies, and IEC material dissemination. Dr. Karunakaran Akhil Dev- DDMA, Dr. Ratheesh from Kerala Veterinary & Animal Science University, Mr. Rince, IT Cell- Wayanad, Mr. Praveen S and Mr. Jaihari A K from HSI India were the trainers of the program.

World Bank says that every dollar spent on disaster preparedness and risk reduction is 7 dollars saved in responding to a crisis. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and SDGs laid out by the United Nations promote preparedness and resilience building over responding to a disaster. While human misery is visible to us all, loss of animals and the effect of that on the psychological and financial well-being of communities around them is often hidden from view. Livestock and companion animals, who are ignored in evacuation efforts and physically confined in some manner, often drown while flood waters fill the space around them or they succumb to collapsing structures around them or are washed away in landslides. No animal should have to suffer through this because of human-induced factors.

Good animal health and welfare in a district ties-in directly with good community and environmental health as well. As humanity works to find a way to slow the effect of climate change, it is undeniable that we need to build resilience within communities, in a sustainable manner, to reduce the impact of disasters on animals around us.

Humane Society International India is an animal protection organization registered in India and an affiliate of Humane Society International, the world’s largest animal protection organization. HSI/India has been working for the last 14 years on all verticals of animal welfare and protection ranging from campaigns against intensive animal agriculture, protection of wildlife, prevention of abuse of animals in experimentation, management of community animals to responding to animals in crisis. The Disaster Management department of HSI/ India aims at building a disaster-resilient country for animals. Over the past years, we have responded to various crisis situations such as the Nepal earthquake & Chennai floods 2015, Covid 19 response, Cyclone Amphan 2020, Kerala floods 2018, 2019, and 2021 etc.

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