McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Disaster Risk Reduction is a Development Planning Process. Illustrate your essay with specific examples.

Early in the morning of December 26, 2004, in a bright sunny day, children were frolicking in the sand while some older children and adults were either sunbathing or swimming in a calm sea in the beach resorts of Thailand. Then without warning, the sea rose to as much as 100 feet high and lashed out on the beach resorts and bay areas not only in Thailand but also in neighboring countries in the margins of the Indian Ocean. At the wake of the devastating tsunami, hundreds and thousands of lives were lost and billions worth of properties vanished in the blink of an eye. If there is anything positive that came out after this tragedy of massive proportions, it was the outpouring of aid and comfort from countries around the world who were equally shocked by the event. And second, it became a grim reminder to the world that preparedness in times of disasters caused by natural events should be one of the major development priorities in countries all over the world.

A few weeks after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, world leaders convened in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan in order to create a framework for action. The output of the meeting gave rise to the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters document (2005). This document could never have been more timely in a time where disasters are continuously claiming lives, destroying properties and hampering development in developing countries. Last year alone, according to the United Nation's International Strategy for Disaster Reduction- UN/ISDR (2008), Cyclone Sidr that hit Bangladesh in November, claimed 4,234 lives and topped the number of deaths caused by natural disasters. Floods in Bangladesh, India, Korean Democratic People's Republic, China, Pakistan and India all claimed a total of 3,803 lives.

Establishment of a nation-wide disaster risk assessment
In order for decision makers in the national and local government gain a precise picture of the country's disaster risks, a nation-wide disaster risk assessment has to be conducted by researchers and technical experts. Participatory research could be the best method in collecting data on the country's disaster risks. In this way, early warning systems, manuals and trainings on disaster prevention and responses to crisis could be institutionalised and be more effective since the target population are involved during the assessment.

In the last 20 years, disasters have affected and displaced millions and millions of people. These disasters, whether natural or man-made, have a direct effect on the development process of a country. As evidenced by numerous books and articles, mostly, it is the developing nations of the world who suffer the most from nature's fury or from the consequences of man's negligence to nature. With the acknowledgement of the fact that development is hampered because of catastrophic events, the idea of integrating DRR in vulnerable countries has been widely accepted and implemented in many countries. While the institutionalisation of DRR is a slow process, countries who did adopt strategies on DRR have seen considerable development, reduction of poverty and increase in the quality of life of its citizens.

Related Links
To Top