Submitted by Rosa Manson on November 17, 2007 - 5:17pm.


There is a concern about the specific tools to meet the minimum disaster requirement.
A booklet is to be wriiten about the use and types of tools for a humanitarian disaster.
These will be tools that would include specific tools for diiferent types of cultural burials, basic tools for the livelihoods and use for general repairs.
Also the most basic tools that can be used by the Heads of the householders.
The amount of tools that should be distributed to each householder.
Tools in general.
Including whistles that can be used as a form of prevention for Earthquakes, and can decrease the loss of life in a disaster situation.
If anyone has any ideas or comments that thye would like to put forward, all comments would be extremely grateful.

Submitted by jcravens42 on November 21, 2007 - 1:16pm.

What organization is publishing this booklet?
How will the booklet be distributed/made available?
Will people who help write the booklet, or advise on such, receive compensation?
Will the authors of this booklet and their credentials be listed somewhere?

Jayne Cravens
formerly of Kabul, Afghanistan...
now back in Bonn, Germany

Submitted by Rosa Manson on November 24, 2007 - 4:58pm.

I do apologise for the delay in replying to your last comment.
This booklet has stirred up a lot of interest from FAO, ( tools for Agricultural ), from the IFRC ( tools for cultural burials), Sphere (tools for Livelihood Activities) and from an organisation called the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University ( An organisation in consultative status with the UN Economic Social Council and UNICEF. Tools for economic and educational purposes to enhance self-sufficiency and dignity).
The booklet we hope will be distributed through either the IFRC or other NGO's who are interested in this.
Those who help write, or advise on this will be renumerated in some way, and all authors will be given a mention in the forward preface of the booklet.
My main concern at the moment is the initial phase of the booklet. As described in the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response there should be a hammer or mallet, an axe or machete; a spade or shovel, (that can be repaired locally with available technologies).
Displaced Communities should have access to sufficient tools to excavate water drainage channels, and to handle the remains of the deceased as appropriate for the construction of coffins, excavation of graves; burial pits and the preparation of funeral Pyres.
Tools should also be appropriate fro livelihood activites. These must include basic tools fro the female headed households and other identified vulnerable groups, that may require assistance from extended family members, neighbours or ocntracted labour to undertake the designated construction or maintenance.
To the family, relatives and friends of a dead person, the process of burial will be highly significant and emotional. It will be difficult for the AID/Relief Workers to understand the feelings and attitudes of individuals in such circumstances fully, but it is importnat to try to appreciate and meet people's needs concerning funeral procedures and burial.
The following should be recognised (by Wilson and Harrell-Bond 1990):
(i) Misunderstandings between relief workers and refugees about funeral arrangements can sometimes result in friction between them.
(ii) The lack of an acceptable funeral and burial may leave social issues unresolved and contribute to greif among the bereaved resulting in additional trauma.
(iii) People often expend scarce resources on funeral rites and graves.
(iv) In many societies, memorials are a way of responding to the lack of proper burial or mourning for those who died in war, exile or disaster.
Memorials may also be a way of healing wounds.
(v) Burial cloth may need to be made available. (Blankets or sleeping mats could be used where no cloth is available).
(vi) Cement is often required for grave markers.
(vii) Burial societies are sometimes formed within the affected population, and NGO's and Agencies should know of these, and work with them where they exist.
(viii) Deaths may not be reported and bodies secretly buried if families fear a reduction in their food rations and other relief items as aresult of a family death.
In certain circumstances, such as in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, Aid/Relief Workers may have to organise the collection and burial of large numbers of dead bodies. This is a harrowing task for all concerned and a special provision should be made for the emotional support of all those involved.
Burail, if culturally acceptable, is the best option for disposal of the dead. Dead bodies pose a minimum health risk unless the death was associated with certain diseases, such as Cholera. In the case of Typhus or Plague, dead bodies may harbour infected lice or fleas. There is no good health reason for cremation, but some societies prefer it.
Make arrangements for the burial of the dead as soon as possible (as some cultures expect their deceased relatives to be buried within 24 hours). Locate burial areas in consultation with people and the local authorities and consider soil conditions an water tables (as some cultures wash the bodies of the deceased at the graveside). Sufficient space must be made available, bearing in mind that different religious groups may want separate burial grounds and some people may wish to bury relatives together.
Establish a method of recording the identity of the deceased persons and causes of death. records are used to monitor mortality rates, the incidence of disease, camp populations; and for the tracing of individuals. However use records with care, as burials may also take take place outside recognised burial grounds (for once again, a fear of a reduction in relief items food rations and reprisals from others).

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