The UNDP project was initiated in all city corporations.

Mock drills to overcome hazards posed by natural calamities will be carried out in select city schools and corporation divisions shortly.

The initiative comes as part of the Urban Risk Reduction Programme, which is supported by the United Nations Development Programme, in Kochi Corporation. It is estimated that over 10,000 school students and residents of 25 divisions of the corporation will be part of the exercise, said Tinu Rose Francis, city project officer.

Mock drills will be carried out in the schools in December. A similar exercise will be carried out for the city residents to face the challenges before January. The programme attains significance in the wake of possible vulnerabilities of the city to calamities like a dam failure.

The UNDP project, which was initiated in all city corporations in 2010, will conclude next year.

Disaster management experts are also planning to train civic authorities, including the Kochi Mayor, the councillors and officials, in the fundamentals of risk reduction. It had organised such a programme for the civic representatives during the term of the previous council.

School safety programmes covering natural hazards and motor accidents were carried out as part of the programme. Select teachers from the schools were also exposed to various aspects of hazard management. All the schools are supposed to have sufficient first aid facilities as the government had earlier issued directions to schools in this regard. Hence, no separate initiative for ensuring first aid facilities in schools were undertaken, Ms. Francis said.

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