The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) has been established to ensure that communities in the Aga Khan Development Network’s (AKDN) operational area, live in physical settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters, and that these physical settings are conducive for developing livelihood opportunities and have access to social and financial services. Equally, AKAH is to ensure that in all risk prone areas of its operations, communities are well prepared for, and able to respond to, any disaster event. AKAH’s mandate is to:
- ensure that in rural areas of operation, villages are made as safe as possible through the implementation of structural mitigation programmes where necessary;
- ensure that the communities’ homes in these rural settings are structurally resilient and able to withstand the effects of earthquakes and other natural disasters;
- ensure that urban housing is developed in areas that are physically safe, or can be made acceptably safe, from the effects of natural disasters, and that the buildings themselves are structurally resilient to natural disaster events;
- ensure that AKDN and community social infrastructure (schools, health centres etc.) is built in safe locations and that the buildings themselves meet specifications and standards for resilience to natural disasters;
- ensure that all structural work meets defined technical quality standards and adheres to best practices; and
- ensure an effective state of preparedness and ability to respond to disasters in all prone areas, through actions aimed at improving community preparedness, weather and risk monitoring and improving physical access to, and communications with, risk prone areas.