Diary from Sendai: Everyone’s responsibility

Chris de Bono, UNICEF’s Regional Chief of Communication in East Asia and Pacific, is in Japan for the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. He took part in the youth forum to hear about young people’s experiences and views. 

Yogesh Chapagain, from Nepal, has nearly finished his studies in Finland. When he’s done he will be an environmental engineer.

His special interest is in waste and water treatment, and one attraction that led him to the Sendai Children and Youth Forum, running parallel to the 3rd World Summit on Disaster Risk Reduction, was its location.

The Tokohu region in Japan, where the Summit and the Forum are taking place, suffered the worst damage following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. While he’s here, he wants to learn more about how Japan has handled the leaks of radioactive materials into the water following the resulting Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown.

Yogesh’s other interests are also important to disaster risk reduction. He is fascinated by technology and the role it can play in protecting both the environment and the people living in it.

And he has a mission to encourage girls and young women to study engineering. “If there are more women working in engineering, they will bring a different perspective to our efforts to build a better world.,” Yogesh says. “That’s important because environmental protection and disaster risk reduction are everyone’s responsibility.”

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