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June 2018 upgrade
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About Practical Action
Practical Action is a global innovator, inspiring people to discover and adopt ingenious, practical ways to free themselves from poverty and disadvantage. We are a registered charity.
Improving harvests through planet-friendly farming innovations. Transforming lives through affordable, renewable energy. Reducing vulnerability created by climate change or disaster. Demonstrating sustainable ways to improve clean water access and sanitation. Unlocking economic opportunities that allow whole communities to thrive. These are some of the ways we help people unleash their potential and protect our world for future generations.
The Practical Action infoHub supports this work by making materials, information and publications publically available for people all over the world to access and use.
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School brigades in PiuraIn March 2017 Peru suffered devastating floods and mudslides. More than 800 towns and cities declared a state of emergency. In the northern town of Piura there was major damage to water and sanitation systems. Roads and bridges collapsed and stagnant water increased the risk of disease. Rainfall in this region is normally light, except when El Niño arrives. This phenomenon is a fluctuation in the sea-surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean which occurs every few years. The increased rainfall it causes results in vast quantities of water flowing through normally dry channels, triggering flooding and mudslides. Settlements along the banks of the river in Piura house poor communities who are some of the worst affected by flooding. Practical Action has been working the local Civil Defence to help these communities become more flood resilient. The programme has supported the development of school brigades, to develop the ability of young people to take positive action in the face of disaster. In partnership with the local Civil Defence, we have developed training for school brigades with some of Piura’s high school students. This will give young people lifelong skills to protect themselves and their community when a flood strikes. Jimmy and Cynthia lead their 30 strong brigade. The training is in three parts. Preparation includes training in first aid, spreading alerts and supporting evacuations. Response entails working alongside the civil defence, helping with the distribution of emergency supplies. Rehabilitation familiarises the students with contingency plans so they can lend support immediately after a flood. This is the area that particularly interests Cynthia: “I like to understand how dangerous different natural events can be, and above all know what to do when faced with them.” Jimmy says: “I now feel totally capable of acting in the face of disaster and being able to help those who do not know what to do during those times.” Once trained, students are called on once a month to hold coordination meetings and play an active role in drills scheduled in their community throughout the year. The skills that Jimmy and Cynthia have acquired may well save lives in their community. And both are keen to share this knowledge with others. https://infohub.practicalaction.org/bitstream/handle/11283/620551/Case%20study%20School%20Brigades.pdf
Professional Water Well Drilling(RWSN, 2016)This guidance note provides practical guidance for organisations and individuals that are trying to raise the professionalism of groundwater development in Africa. The guidance note is mainly concerned with rural and small towns’ water supplies but is mindful of the huge challenges faced by supplies in many growing African cities dealing with problems of groundwater quantity and quality.