About the civil defence capacity development project meeting in Haabersti

On April 22, we met with officials from the district administration and the Action Centre in Haabersti to discuss the district’s community-based civil defence development.

As of April, the Haaberstis district had almost 51 000 residents, which would make it the fourth largest city in Estonia on its own. Haabersti represents 11% of the capital’s population. The area lacks internal security institutions, such as police and rescue services, despite the fact that the Ministry of the Interior stated last year that “…according to the earlier plans of the Rescue Board, the need for a new rescue service is in the Haabersti district, where the number of inhabitants and the need has increased significantly over the years.

Unfortunately, these plans have not materialised in the Haabersti region, and there is also a shortage of fundamental civil defence infrastructure, such as the absence of resilience centres, also known as points of invincibilities in Ukraine. Furthermore, there is just one public hiding place in the district as of this year.

Last year, the Crisis Research Centre launched a pilot project on community-based civil defence at Kopli 93 in Northern Tallinn, with the goal of training more than 20 active community members on how to deal with various types of crisis situations. It will also provide one community centre in Northern Tallinn with standardised basic equipment for crisis circumstances, allowing the municipality to establish points of invincibility.

Beginning in October 2023, the Crisis Research Centre is developing a capacity development initiative for community based civil defence in Haabersti, with a particular emphasis on empowering members of housing associations in large panel system buildings. “There is a similar demand in Haabersti, which contrasts from the northern part of the city with its massive large panel system buildings built during the Soviet occupation of Estonia. The Väike-Õismäe settlement, home to almost 27 000 people, is particularly vulnerable,” stated Anne-May Nagel, co-founder of the Crisis Research Centre.

🧡 We are grateful to the Haabersti District Administration and the Haabersti Activity Centre for finding the time to meet.

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