Community Based Early Warning Systems (CBEWS)
A Community-Based Early Warning Systems (CBEWS) is a system developed, managed and maintained by the community itself, that empowers individuals and communities threatened by hazards to act in sufficient time and in an appropriate manner in a bid to reduce the possibility of personal injury, loss of life, damage to property, environment and loss of livelihood.
CBEWS Functions and Objectives
The real significance of CBEWS is community empowerment. The ability to monitor the factors that turn a hazard (the actual event) into a disaster (the worst-case result of the event) can help save lives and livelihoods of populations that are at risk. CBEWS provides communities,
The system suggests that people of a community can be capable and it empowers them to protect and prepare themselves and make them resilient against the disastrous effects. The communities are in the best position to undertake preparedness measures against disasters.
The CBEWS ensures that individuals and communities have knowledge about what is threatening them and are capable to communicate a change in
Essentials of Community-Based Early Warning Systems
A community based early warning system must be reliable function effectively and must address the needs of all members of the community.
Equity and Legitimacy
While designing an early warning system, one must ensure the following are considered
- The system
isto ensure that the early warning messages reach the last and most vulnerable person of the community structures
- The early warning messages should help to reduce disaster risks and be beneficial for saving human, physical and financial capital of the community
- Proper management of the resources to ensure they are used in the most appropriate way
- Prompt and effective decision making policies and systems in place to achieve its objectives?
- Community understanding and perception about the immediate danger should be clear and appropriate.
- Timely dissemination of early warning messages and response.
- Does the system address human justice?
- Are the voices of the most vulnerable people in the community heard?
- Are the special needs of the women, elderly people, people with disabilities and children considered and addressed?
The community people take the early warning message authentic and interpret properly to cope with the situation and make responses. EWS could be adopted and developed as common practice and culture of the community.
- Are the early warning messages accepted by the community or end users?
- Are there any possibilities of issuing the wrong early warning messages?
- Does the community respond to the early warnings?
- Are the local knowledge/traditional early warning practice accepted by the systems?