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Assessment of schools @ Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz Republic assesses over 3,000 schools

On 2nd June, 2014 the major push for disaster-safe schools in the Kyrgyz Republic perfectly illustrates how good risk information can focus political will and help direct resources towards reducing underlying risk factors.

The implications are serious in a country which experiences regular earthquakes including five in the last six months of relatively low magnitude from 4 to 5.4 on the Richter scale. Twelve teams of two have assessed the country’s 2,204 schools and 902 pre-schools and categorized 84 percent of schools and 85 percent of pre-schools as unsafe. 

The Head of Infrastructure and Public Purchase of the Ministry of Educational Science, Mr Bakyt Kadyrkulov, said the nationwide study had provided the Kyrgyz Republic with a baseline from which “budget estimates could be generated so that we could aim at making our school facilities safe” and believes that political will and community involvement is vital for building safe schools.

“We have learnt several lessons along the way. One of the most important is the need to prioritise because of the size of the task". Another is to involve the community and the local authorities and have the political will and readiness to assess the situation and then take action. This requires close coordination. 

“I would also recommend the involvement of technical and engineering specialists so that technology, for retrofitting for example, is adapted to local conditions appropriately. Finally it is really important to maintain disaster data, make it accessible and easy to understand.” 

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