National Correspondent:   
General Directorate of the Civil Defense,
Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities
Email: gaboumoussa@gmail.com
Web site: http://www.moim.gov.lb

National News Highlights

A Game for Lebanese Children: Learning how to Avoid Risks while Playing

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img1“I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this project and invite my fellow colleagues to double their efforts  as we have been entrusted with the safety of our peoples’ lives”, the Lebanese Civil Defence Director General Raymond Kattar declared  in his intervention during the  ceremony for the closure of  the awareness raising project Edu-games for Children implemented within the EU-funded PPRD South programme, organised at the UNESCO Conference Palace in Beirut on December 2011.

“The European Union through PPRD South has generously provided a donation of 40,000 euro for the project to strengthen awareness in Lebanon. Our aim is that this project, the first of its kind in Lebanon, reaches the largest possible number of citizens, especially children” he added.

The aim of the final event was to distribute -  in front of hundreds of teachers, representatives from the Ministry of Education, Civil Defence officials and media  -  the 125,000 CDs with edu-games, produced in English, French and Arabic and available now also on the Civil Defence website www.lebanesecivildefence.com/civilguardians/.

The overall objective of this  project was the production of CDs with computer games  addressed to 125,000 children  from 7 to 10 years of age which are going to be distributed all over the country, and aimed to teach how to avoid and react against most of the dangers that a child can face (earthquakes, fires, landslides, sea and mountain precautions,  electricity  and fire risks, etc.).

img2During her speech, EU Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst thanked the Civil Defence. “We are in your hands as far as security is concerned”, she said and went on by adding that “also through such a small action as this project, we are giving  some tools to children to get knowledge and help make aware their parents about risks and disasters.  I am sure this will have an impact, and I myself want to try and play with it”.

The Edu-games for Children, supported by the PPRD South Programme, is one of the awareness raising projects that were and are implemented in 5 Programme Partner Countries (Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Montenegro and occupied Palestinian territory) thanks to a total budget of 200,000 euro.

Video on the UNDP Civil Defense project in Lebanon

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video_lebThis video published on YouTube illustrates the main aspects of the UNDP Civil Defense project, funded by the French Government with € 2 Million and managed by the UNDP with the objective of strengthening the capacities of the Lebanese Civil Defense.
During the 2006 war the Lebanese Civil Defense faced important challenges to rescue victims trapped under the rubbles, without proper tools, equipments and safe maneuvering techniques.

The UNDP civil defense project is now organizing a number of search and rescue trainings in different scenarios – building collapse, fire, earthquake among others - with the direct involvement of experts from the French Civil Defense.

As part of the project, the Lebanese Civil Defense received for the first time advanced equipments and machineries enabling rescuers to locate victims under the rubbles using cameras and motion sensors. The Civil Defense also received a number of fully equipped new ambulances.

“The audiovisual search and rescue equipments provided are well developed – said Mr. Youssef Mallah, fire fighting expert & volunteer involved in the project activities - In this training we combined good organization and advanced equipments to ensure successful search and rescue operations”.

View the video


PPRD South supports Lebanese project to promote children’s awareness of civil protection

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edugame1The Lebanese project based on video games to promote children's awareness of civil protection and to prepare them to react to potential disasters has just been signed.


Lifeguards training for improved water safety in Lebanon

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rescueIn preparation of the 2010 bathing season the Sea Rescue Section of the General Directorate of the Civil Defence has recently completed a nationwide series of special training courses for lifeguards. Lifeguard candidates were first evaluated against the required swimming skills - they have to be able to swim for 50 meters in less than 40 seconds and underwater for 25 meters. Selected candidates were then trained on water rescue techniques - these include a combination of communication skills, specific "rescue" swimming strokes, and release techniques for self-preservation should the rescue go wrong - and on life-saving first aid interventions. In the final exam trainees had to demonstrate to be able to swim for 800 meters, to rescue-swim for 100 meters and to reach a depth of six meters in apnoea diving. Successful candidates received a certificate which enables them to work as lifeguards and to contribute to successfully preventing drowning deaths.

swimmingIn Lebanon the sea bathing season lasts from May to October. The Lebanese policies for responding to life-threatening emergencies in the aquatic environment are based on the reinforcement of the beach and swimming pool safety management schemes which foresee the presence of four lifeguards around swimming pools and in all the private and public beaches for eight hours a day. Putting in practice this safety management scheme requires the training and the equipment of a large number of lifeguards.

gruppoAccording to the World Health Organization, some 30,000 people drown each year in the Eastern Mediterranean region which makes drowning the second leading cause of unintentional death after road traffic accidents. The problem is even greater as this figure includes only “accidental drowning and submersion” and they exclude drowning due to cataclysms (floods), boating and water transport accidents.

The International Life Saving Federation reports that 50% of the 1.2 million people that die by drowning every year around the world are children. In this age group drowning is the leading cause of death. Inadequate supervision and inability to swim are the main causes of drowning of small children.

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