“Under ECHO funded “Myanmar Consortium for Community Resilience (MCCR” Program, 5 days training on “Post Disaster (Earthquake) Rapid Damage Assessment” started on 28th March in Yangon Technological University (YTU). This training is jointly organized by UN-Habitat, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Austria and Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP),India with support of Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD), Myanmar Engineering Society (MES), Myanmar Earthquake Committee (MEC) and Yangon Technological University (YTU).
The objective of this training is to strengthen the capacity of Yangon regional government on post disaster rapid damage assessment using earth observation technologies (GIS, Remote Sensing etc.). As Yangon is an earthquake prone city and has been experiencing several jolts in last one year, focus will be mostly on earthquake damage assessment. In case of severe earthquake event, manual damage assessment may not be feasible due to widespread damage and inaccessibility of the area but also its time consuming process which may delay the search and rescue operations and other relief activities.Use of GIS, Remote Sensing and other such technology help in conducting the quick assessment of damaged areas and produce high resolution maps which are required to have realistic estimation of damage and effective resource mobilization in order to save more human lives in first crucial 72 hours.
In her opening remarks YCDC secretary, Daw Hlaing Maw Oo highlighted the importance of such technologies in the context of Yangon city which is also the heartbeat of Myanmar’s economy and has the highest urban population. Mr. Bijay Karmacharya, Country Programme Manager, UN-Habitat gave emphasis on strengthening the capacity of government stakeholders on use of earth observation technologies in all phases of disaster management. U Win Shwe, Director RRD, Yangon Region appreciated the efforts of UN-Habitat to conduct this useful training in Myanmar. Being nodal agency for Relief and Resettlement, RRD has established EOC in Nay Pyi Taw and has a keen interest to use such technologies. Mr. Shirish Ravan, Senior Programme Officer, UNOOSA briefed about the use of international charter and regional cooperation (SENTINEL ASIA) for use of space technologies during emergency. Training is delivered by 6 international experts coming from 4 different countries (Austria, China, India and Myanmar).