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2024 Winner Announcement

The 2024 Averted Disaster Award winners were announced at the Understanding Risk Global Forum 2024 held in Himeji, Japan on June 19, 2024. Please find press release about the winner and awardees.

WINNER

Lamu County, Kenya

“Establishment of an Emergency Operation Center”

The Lamu County Emergency Operation Center was selected for its locally led efforts that exemplify the link between risk information and action. In 2020, Lamu County completed an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) that coordinates multi-agency efforts for disaster planning, response, and recovery, addressing at least 15 types of terrestrial and marine hazards and averting five major disasters since its inception. Between October and December 2023 they experienced severe flooding following the worst drought in four decades that was compounded with a cholera outbreak. They disseminated tailored information for the heavy rain advisories, stocked 12 evacuation centers, and evacuated 4,900 families (approximately 18,000 people) and 20,000 livestock to higher ground, completing the evacuation 21 days before the floods. Despite highway damage isolating Lamu County and an unexpected influx of displaced persons, the EOC secured additional resources from national and international agencies. Consequently, no human or animal lives were lost during the floods.

Read the counterfactual analysis here.

RUNNER UP

Southern Africa Regional Anticipatory Action Working Group

Large scale Anticipatory Action Activations for the El Nino Drought across Southern Africa. Read the counterfactual analysis here.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Taiwan-Reyhanli Centre for World Citizens

Syrian Refugee Community Center- Turned Humanitarian Relief Centre in Response to the 2023 Turkey-Syria Earthquake. Read the counterfactual analysis here.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, India

Establishment of the First Ever City Specific, Disaster Response Force in the Region. Read the counterfactual analysis here.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The World Bank Group Caribbean Management Unit, Jamaica

Improving Climate Data and Information Management. Read the counterfactual analysis here.

AVERTED DISASTER AWARD

Established in 2021, the Averted Disaster Award is the premier recognition of successful disaster mitigation interventions that go unnoticed precisely because of their success. While the news often highlights catastrophes, they don’t focus on the buildings that stayed standing due to earthquake-resistant building codes, the wildfires avoided due to effective forest management, or the early-warning systems that saved lives in a typhoon. In the world of Disaster Risk Management (DRM), success means ‘nothing happens’ and as a result can cause policy makers and society at large to undervalue the importance of proactive intervention. The Averted Disaster Award sheds light on successes in DRM and ‘what might have been’ to recognize the outstanding work of those who invest in measures that keep our communities and world safe.

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