CWS Asia

Disaster Risk Reduction

CWS-village WASH team on the new bridge supported by our Week of Compassion friends at Maubin, Myanmar. Photo: Leslie Wilson

Recently, SOLITARITAS was celebrated by project partners and beneficiaries during a visit with Disciples of Christ pastors and seminarians, who were joined by the CWS Indonesia Country Representative and the Asia Regional Coordinator, along with CWS Tanja Toraja team members. Photo: CWS

Afghan participants, CWS Japan staff and trainers from Japan Conservation Engineers Co. Ltd. at the ‘technical transfer’ workshop about hazard mapping and disaster risk reduction (DRR). Photo: Takeshi Komino

People in Asia are at continuous risk from multiple hazards, especially floods: routine, seasonal floods and occasional catastrophic ones. At the other end of the natural disaster spectrum are drought, forest fires and earthquakes.  Despite such vulnerability to these hazards, most people do not know how to anticipate and be prepared to respond to them. Increasing communities’ awareness and knowledge to mitigate and also prepare to respond to common hazards is critical to helping them protect and save lives and material assets.

Countries: Myanmar and Indonesia and Japan

Latest News

Leading by Example to Promote Village-led Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Planning

CWS Indonesia | October 27, 2019

Rano is a village high in the barren mountains of western Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Because there is very little vegetation around Rano, seasonal rains make the area prone to landslides. Since Rano’s families are already vulnerable from poverty and lack of basic public services, like a clinic or government-organized emergency responders, the […]

Elsi Is Leading Other DREAM-ers to Succeed

CWS Indonesia | October 2, 2019

Because of its valley location, Rano, which is in South Sulawesi, Indonesia has temperatures that are hotter than other Tanja Toraja villages. This location means families there experience harsher drought most of the year when it doesn’t rain in the area. Harsher still are landslides that come along with the rains. In late 2016, deadly […]

Views from the Frontline 2019: Disaster Risk Assessment Continues Raising Grassroots Perspectives

CWS Cambodia |

Funded by European Commission through the Global Network for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), Views from the Frontline 2019 is a project being implemented in 50 countries across Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. The project is designed to seek and understand perspectives on risk and resilience in remote villages and towns across […]

Global Network for Disaster Reduction Asia Regional Strategy Workshop

CWS | August 30, 2019

At the opening session of the Global Network for Disaster Reduction Asia Regional Strategy Workshop in August 2019, CWS Asia Regional Director, Leslie Wilson, joined a panel, Creating the Big Picture, during which she addressed the much-discussed “shrinking space for civil society engagement” in development and humanitarian action, including disaster risk management. Leslie is the […]

CWS Partnership with the UK’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund Is Strengthening in Asia

CWS Japan | August 27, 2019

Since 2017 CWS Japan has been hosting the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network innovation hub, and this collaboration has led a partnership agreement with the UK-based Humanitarian Innovation Fund. In 2018, the Tokyo-based innovation hub team for Asia started to focus on addressing metropolitan earthquake risks in Manila, where with innovation partners, including universities, […]

Turning Loans into Savings

CWS Indonesia | August 26, 2019

Reni Sattu and her family live in a rural village about 25 miles from the nearest town. Among other services she has no access to, safe banking is one. And, as she learned when she approached a bank in a bigger city, she could not borrow money from them anyway because her husband’s income barely […]

From Small Actions to Big DREAMS

CWS Indonesia |

In October 2016, a landslide destroyed houses and farmland in Lembang Rano, which is a small, mountainous village in southern Tana Toraja, Indonesia. CWS was already working with communities there, and so partnered with the district Disaster Management Agency to strengthen its disaster response. Then, after the community’s recovery from the disaster, CWS staff and […]

Blessed Are The Poor (Luke 6:20)

CWS Myanmar | August 5, 2019

By Yukiko Maki, Program Manager CWS Japan. My first visit to the Ayeyarwady River delta and the Myanmar villages where CWS Japan supported a nutrition education project was in 2017. This work was done in partnership with the Japanese food products company, AJINOMOTO; and, it was a success despite the challenges families face every year […]

A Bit of a Dream Come True: Affordable Loans for Women Farmers

CWS Indonesia | July 31, 2019

Yuliana La’lai, like many of her neighbors in South Sulawesi, has always relied farming for her family’s income. However, slowly but surely climate change is making the region’s harvests less fruitful. Gradually, Yuliana notes, “unpredictable rainfall leaves us not knowing when to plant rice; our cacao pods and coffee plants are affected too”. These crop […]

Launch of ’30 Innovations for Disaster Risk – CWS Japan Showcased at a Disaster Risk Reduction Festival

CWS Japan | June 16, 2019

Because Japan, like much of Asia, is increasingly natural disaster-prone municipal governments are joining with others to highlight the importance of everyone’s actions to reduce disaster risks. At one of the best organized events – the Lake Town DRR Festival 2019 at the Aeon Mall in Koshigaya – CWS and other NGOs were active participants […]

Launch of ’30 Innovations for Disaster Risk Reduction’

CWS Japan | May 26, 2019

CWS Japan continues to strengthen its partnership with the academic / science community and was part of the 30 Innovations for Disaster Risk Reduction launch. The collection details innovative products and approaches assessed to be effective in contributing to reducing disaster risks as well as a summary the survey used to determine the DRR innovations […]

Community Networks Building a More Prepared Future

CWS Indonesia |

In early March, 45 community leaders from five in Central Sulawesi villages started their community disaster preparedness networks by considering natural disaster threats in each of their villages. After discussing as many aspects of natural disasters they have experienced or heard about, the women and men in the room put their ideas for contingency action […]

Using Local Resources to Improve Livelihoods and Build Resilience and Diversification

CWS Indonesia | March 28, 2019

Buttu Tasik, his wife and four children live in a village in South Sulawesi. They, like many rural Indonesian families, raise pigs for income while continuing to learn how to adapt their farming for climate change. “Changes in the weather here are quite extreme and we have not yet been able to [fully cope] with […]

Sphere info-sharing workshop has inspired me!

CWS Vietnam |

By Do Van Khai, Muong Te District Red Cross Chapter. In mid-March 2019, a workshop about Sphere project minimum standards for humanitarian response was hosted by Vietnam’s NGO Disaster Management working group (DMWG), its Disaster Management Policy and Technology Center (DMPTC) and the CWS team in Hanoi. The aim of the gathering was helping participants […]

Alternative Idea for Raising Awareness About Reducing Disaster Risks

CWS Myanmar | March 6, 2019

In working in hard-to-reach areas of Myanmar’s Ayeyawaddy River delta region, where many disaster risks from seasonal flooding, riverbank erosion and cyclones affect many vulnerable families, CWS works to help these families, their community leaders and the local government, building both resilience and response capacity. In the past year, in the face of continuing out-migration […]

Asia-Pacific Regional 2018 NGO Partnership Week In Review

CWS Japan | January 20, 2019

In December, a packed partnership week was organized by CWS Japan team members in partnership with colleagues from the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office (UNOCHA) in Bangkok. In addition to CWS Japan senior leadership – Board Chair Rajib […]

Climate Change Is Real: CWS and Partners Help Indonesia Farmers Understand and Adapt to the Change

CWS Indonesia | December 27, 2018

“The weather is unpredictable now,” says Buttutasik, a fiftysomething farmer in Bau village in South Sulawesi, who is chairman of the Harapan Lembang Bau farmer’s group. “This leaves us feeling confused: some of us continue planting our seeds, knowing we are risking crop failure from weather change and pestilence; others of us are reluctant to […]

Continuing Current Engagements While Planning to Increase CWS Japan’s Public Engagement

CWS Japan |

Following western Japan’s July 2018 floods, with support from United Church of Canada, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and generous individual donors, CWS Japan successfully augmented government and other groups’ response activities by supporting local organizations’ emergency medical operations; information-sharing management among evacuees and, thanks to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a series of weekend camps […]

“Our community will be more resilient now!”

CWS Myanmar | December 25, 2018

A key part of success and sustainability for the disaster risk reduction activities that comprise our Integrated Resilience and Development in Myanmar, are the Community Volunteers who join the Training of Trainers, so they use their new knowledge, awareness and skill to help their neighbors and village leaders undertake all key aspects of community-based self-help […]

Challenges and Rewards in Helping Myanmar Communities Build Resilience

CWS Myanmar | November 28, 2018

In a part of Myanmar that is especially susceptible to natural disaster, primarily related to yearly monsoon rains and flooding, CWS has led Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) activities for several years with a focus on two townships initially, and now just one: Maubin Township in the Ayeyarwaddy region. In the past two years CWS […]

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