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- Volume 2, Issue 3, 2009
Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies - Volume 2, Issue 3, 2009
Volume 2, Issue 3, 2009
Source: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 151 –158 (2009)More Less
This theme issue of Jàmbá takes up the question of neglected disasters. It is an important topic because the world is changing, disasters are changing, and theory is changing. All these changes call for a re-assessment of why some human suffering and social disruption receive attention from authorities, donors, researchers and the media, while some does not. Recent progress in both development studies and disaster studies provides tools for answering this question. Development and disaster studies date in their current forms to ways of thinking that were current in academic and policy circles in the late 1950s and 1960s. At that time the world was recovering from world war and former colonies of Europe were gaining independence. It was a world in which (with some exceptions) conflict was held in check in an uneasy cold war balance. It was also a world where a growing UN system held the promise of meeting humanitarian needs when they arose. That world is no more. 'Development' has changed. Today former colonial states have differentiated at two extremes: failed states and middle income developing ones. Super power balance is no more, and many local and regional conflicts rage. The United Nations system is stretched to breaking point by economic recession. All of this affects the range and nature of crises facing ordinary people and how these crises are perceived by outsiders.
Source: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 159 –176 (2009)More Less
Sahrawi women are active agents in the social dynamics of the refugee camps, in which they have developed a number of coping strategies to overcome the hardships of a deteriorating humanitarian situation. Since the outbreak of the conflict and the forced settlement in Tindouf, Algeria, women have been responsible for the entire management of refugee camps, assuming leadership roles in many sectors of society. This paper highlights the Sahrawi women's contribution to the process of local human development in a context of protracted refuge such as the one in the Western Sahara. In addition to the enlargement of the refugee population's capacities in relation to material and physical assets, social and organizational abilities, and motivational strengths, one of the major achievements of Sahrawi women has been their own individual and collective process of empowerment within the camp life.
Le développement humain local dans les contextes de crise permanente : l'expérience des femmes au Sahara OccidentalSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 177 –197 (2009)More Less
Les femmes sahraouies sont des agents actifs dans la dynamique sociale des camps de réfugiés, au sein desquels elles ont défni un certain nombre de stratégies de résolution de problèmes pour surmonter les obstacles liés à une situation humanitaire qui se détériore. Depuis le début du confit et le déplacement forcé à Tindouf, en Algérie, les femmes sont en effet intégralement responsables de la gestion des camps de réfugiés, et ont assumé un rôle de dirigeantes dans de nombreux secteurs de la société. Cet article souligne la contribution des femmes sahraouies au processus de développement humain local dans un contexte de refuge prolongé tel celui que connaît le Sahara Occidental. En plus d'améliorer la capacité d'accès des réfugiés aux ressources matérielles, physiques, sociales et organisationnelles ainsi qu'aux forces motivationnelles, les femmes sahraouies ont été en mesure de mettre en place leur propre processus de renforcement des capacités individuelle et collective dans la vie du camp.
From marginality to further marginalization : experiences from the victims of the July 2000 Payatas trashslide in the PhilippinesSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 197 –215 (2009)More Less
Victims of disasters are disproportionately drawn from the marginalized segments of society. Disaster victims are marginalized geographically because they live in hazardous places, socially because they are members of minority groups, economically because they are poor, and marginalized politically because their voice is disregarded by those with political power. !e victims of the July 2000 Payatas trash slide in the Philippines show all these characteristics. Most of the victims of the disaster were urban migrants who came all the way from their poor provinces to settle on the lower slopes of the largest dumpsite of the country. They scavenged recyclable materials to sell as a way to make a living, but their limited incomes did not allow them to afford safer locations for their homes, farther removed from the slopes of the dumpsite. On the morning of 10 July 2000, 300 of them lost their lives when a large section of the dumpsite collapsed in a massive debris flow which buried their houses. In the aftermath of the disaster, the survivors who used to live on the dumpsite, and who were the poorest victims, were also those who were relocated by the Philippine government. In the present case, the most vulnerable families in the face of the trash slide were eventually those who had to suffer again from life-disrupting relocation while being the less able to recover quickly from the disaster. Daily incomes of relocated families are today much lower than those who remained in the vicinity of the dumpsite. For the victims of the July 2000 Payatas tragedy, poverty thus acted as a vicious, worsening circle which ranged from vulnerability to poor recovery, or from marginality to further marginalization.
Resettlement of communities; the case study of Jaguaribara : a resilient community (Northeast of Brazil)Source: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 216 –234 (2009)More Less
This paper examines the displacement of the inhabitants of Jaguaribara (Northeast Brazil) who were resettled due to the construction of the "Castanhao". The Government planned a new city to shelter the inhabitants from "Old Jaguaribara" that was flooded due to the overflowing of the dam. The case of Jaguaribara provides another perspective for analysing the consequences of the resettlement of the community, elucidating - besides the impoverishment risks - the protective factors that came up during the process of resistance against the construction of the dam, in the light of the concept of resilience. In order to capture the various dimensions of this process, qualitative primary data were used as the main source, together with documentation made by NGOs and professionals involved during the process of resistance against the construction of the dam, as well as semi-structured interviews. The enhancement of resilience in Jaguaribara represented the possibility to transform isolated individuals into a powerful integrated group that could combine forces, catalyse collective gains as well as articulate and defend common interests.
"I work all the time - he just waits for the animals to come back" : social impacts of climate changes : a Greenlandic case studyAuthor Roanne Van VoorstSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 235 –252 (2009)More Less
Understanding human adaptation to climate changes is one of the most important research issues within the area of global environmental change, accounting for the fact that people worldwide are currently adapting to their changing environment (Adger and Kelly 2000: 253; Smit et al. 2008). The Greenlandic case study as presented in this paper is mainly based on a literature analysis and ethnographic data obtained during the Greenlandic winter of 2008, with emphasis on the latter. Participant observation and interviews were combined with a discursive analysis of climate change-related policies. The empirical findings as presented in this paper suggest that an exclusive and gender-neutral focus of policy makers on economic aspects of adaptation to climate changes may increase socio-economic inequality as well as male domestic violence over women. Social research can help to identify such chains of reactions resulting from climate changes and related policies, by focusing on individual adaptation strategies of male and female actors in vulnerable societies.
The silent victims of humanitarian crises and livelihood (in)security : a case study among migrants in two Chadian townsSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 253 –272 (2009)More Less
Once a humanitarian disaster receives coverage in the global media, the international community usually mobilises to reduce the most severe consequences. However people in Chad are experiencing endemic crises that are detached from specific triggers, and they are not receiving any international assistance to help relieve the hardships they face. !is study involves 111 migrant households from central Chad that, as a result of war and drought, have lost everything and now have to live in squatter areas of N'Djamena and Mongo, facing uncertainty and threats while negotiating their livelihoods. Qualitative and quantitative methods have been combined in this study to reveal the intriguing story of their daily lives in the face of complex and endemic crises. Anthropometric and health data were generated to determine the nutritional status of mothers and their children under five. Life histories, in-depth interviews and participatory observation allowed the researchers to capture the negotiation strategies they use to access food and shelter, their experiences of food insecurity and sanitary vulnerability, and the consequences these have on daily life. Results indicate that 62% of households were female headed, there were high rates of acute (40-50%) and chronic (35-40%) malnutrition and 46% of the mothers were underweight and anaemic. Infant mortality rates were also high at 30%-42% and 97% of the children had had incomplete or no vaccinations. No households had access to clean water, sanitation or public-health services. Endemic corruption and abuse by the authorities were identified as major sources of day-to-day insecurity. These migrants were not expecting any improvement in their livelihoods in the foreseeable future and saw these miserable conditions as normal.
Les victimes silencieuses des crises humanitaires et l'(in)sécurité de leurs activités économiques : etude de cas parmi les migrants de deux villes tchadiennesSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 273 –294 (2009)More Less
Lorsqu'une catastrophe humanitaire fait la une des médias, la communauté internationale se mobilize à réduire les conséquences les plus sérieuses. La population du Tchad connaît cependant des crises endémiques qui ne sont liées à aucun élément déclencheur particulier' ; elle ne reçoit pas l'assistance internationale nécessaire pour faire face à ces problèmes. La présente étude concerne 111 ménages de migrants de la région du centre du Tchad, qui ont, à cause de la guerre et de la sécheresse, tout perdu, et qui vivent désormais dans de N'Djamena et de Mongo'; ces familles sont confrontées à la précarité et à d'autres éléments qui menacent leurs moyens de subsistance. Des méthodes qualitatives et quantitative ont été combinées dans l'étude pour révéler l'histoire intrigante de leur vie quotidienne au milieu de crises complexes et endémiques. Des données anthropométriques et sanitaires ont été utilisées pour determiner l'état nutritionnel des mères et de leurs enfants de moins de cinq ans. Des narrations de vie, des entretiens en profondeur et des observations participatives ont permis aux chercheurs de déterminer les strategies de négociation que ces familles adoptent pour accéder à leur nourriture et à leurs abris, leur experience de l'insécurité alimentaire et de la vulnérabilité sanitaire, ainsi que les conséquences que ces éléments ont sur leur vie quotidienne. Les résultats indiquent que 62% des ménages sont dirigés par des femmes, qu'il existe de forts taux de malnutrition aiguë (40-50%) et chronique (35-40%) et que 46% des mères sont sous-alimentées et anémiées. Les taux de mortalité infantile se sont avérés également élevés': de 30% à 42%. 97% des enfants n'ont pas été complètement vaccinés, voire pas vaccinés du tout, dans certains cas. Aucun des ménages n'a accès à l'eau potable et aux services sociaux de base. La corruption endémique et l'abus manifesté par les autorités tchadiennes ont été identifiés comme sources d'insécurité quotidienne. Ces migrants considèrent cette situation misérable comme normale.
Author Charles KellySource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 295 –301 (2009)More Less
During the winter of 2007-2008 the Central Asian country of Tajikistan experienced an unusually cold winter which led to shortages of electricity, water and heating as well as food losses and these impacts occurred at the same time as a combined with a drought, and dramatically increased food prices and increased food insecurity. These impacts were exacerbated by a lack of investment in the water, power and fuel supplies, health care and education systems since independence in 1991. This combination of events was termed a compound disaster. !e note explores the conditions in Tajikistan which created the compound disaster, the humanitarian response and how this disaster became a neglected event. The concept of compound disaster has gained limited acceptance in Central Asia but may also be applicable elsewhere. The difficulty of identifying and responding to a compound disaster creates a particular challenge for humanitarian organisations if they are to be effective in reducing human suffering due to disasters.