As part of the ‘Inondation, Nout kartié lé paré’ flood awareness project, PIROI organised – ahead of the upcoming cyclone season – training on how to act in a flooded environment. Six one-day sessions were held from 16 to 22 October 2019.
These 6 days of training brought together approximately one hundred participants: risk management professionals working for TCO (the West Coast Inter-municipal Grouping), CIVIS (the Inter-municipal Grouping of Cohesive Municipalities), and CIREST (the Inter-municipal Grouping of Eastern Reunion), as well as Red Cross volunteer facilitators, residents of flood-prone neighbourhoods on the island, and secondary school children with their teachers.
The courses, organised in partnership with the Gens de Rivière training organisation, Météo France weather centre, and the Hydrological Monitoring Unit of the local Directorate for Environment, Planning Development and Housing (DEAL), covered the specific features of the island’s meteorological conditions and waterways.
Training covered theory, focusing on experience sharing and scientific knowledge (the specific features of Reunion’s watercourses and meteorological conditions; understanding and analysing the movement(s) of water, etc.), as well as practice so that participants could experience realistic simulations at Sainte-Suzanne water sports centre. As a result of this hands-on course, trainees had the opportunity to improve their knowledge of flood risks, and learnt best practices to follow for protection and staying safe if confronted with rising floodwater.
The course was held just days after the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) on 13 October, an event aimed at raising awareness among governments and the general public of the importance of disaster risk reduction in building resilient communities and nations.