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- Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies
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- Volume 3, Issue 1, 2010
Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies - Volume 3, Issue 1, 2010
Volume 3, Issue 1, 2010
Author Dejo OlowuSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 3, pp 303 –320 (2010)More Less
At the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, Hyogo, Japan, in January 2005, the international community adopted a 10-year plan to make the world safer from disasters. The resultant Hyogo Framework for Action is the global blueprint for disaster risk reduction with the goal of substantially reducing disaster losses in human lives and socio-economic assets. What is the significance of the HFA for the adoption of disaster prevention, management and risk reduction frameworks in African States? Since 2005, what has been the attitude of African States to the promise of the HFA? In terms of policy and planning, how should African States engage the HFA towards securing human lives and properties against natural and human-induced disasters? With the myriad challenges of mass poverty and underdevelopment across Africa, what implications does the HFA hold for disaster risk reduction and management in African States? This article attempts to address this plethora of questions, drawing on lessons learned in Africa and beyond. The article examines the background of the HFA and its progress in shaping the global policy agenda towards disaster management and reduction. While the article acknowledges some of the inherent weaknesses in the promise of the HFA, it nonetheless accentuates its inimitable implications for broad legal and policy strategies towards ameliorating the usual horrific aftermath of disasters in Africa.
Source: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 3, pp 321 –334 (2010)More Less
Buildings as infrastructure along with people's lives need protection against fire outbreaks. Knowledge on the use of installed facilities is essential in tackling fire emergencies, otherwise their installation becomes meaningless. Lack of such knowledge could hamper escape from fire hazards and thwart attempts to contain fire outbreaks at their preliminary stage. This study, carried out in the Central Business District of Dar es Salaam City, assessed urban fire risk with respect to public awareness on the use of fire fighting facilities and preparedness in the event of fire outbreaks. Public buildings with at least four storeys or 2000m2 floor space were surveyed. According to the Fire and Rescue Act of 2007, such buildings have to be provided with adequate means of escape and fire fighting facilities. Data was collected through observation and interviews with building managers, users and key informants. The study revealed high fire disaster risk in most buildings of the study area, as 60% of the buildings' users do not know how to operate the facilities, and 41% are not aware of the available escape means in case of fire outbreak. Worse still, only 29% had received training within the past five years, and 68% had never been trained.
Values in risk perception - studying the relationship between values and risk perception in three countriesSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 3, pp 335 –345 (2010)More Less
Risk perception research has largely focused on finding how different demographic variables predict risk perception dimensions. This article suggests including motivational values among the areas of focus, being a dimension shared across different demographical contexts. The methodology includes established and scrutinised tools from the values and risk perception fields respectively, combining them in a questionnaire. Data were gathered from South Africa, Sweden and the USA. The results support the hypothesis that there is a connection between motivational values and risk perception dimensions. Uses for disaster management are discussed. More advanced statistical methods and qualitative methods are suggested to delve deeper into this area.
Source: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 3, pp 346 –366 (2010)More Less
In Kenya, the ability of local people to resist the impact of disasters has not been given adequate attention. A descriptive cross sectional study sought to investigate community perceptions and responses to flood risks in low and high risk areas of the Nyando District, Western Kenya. A total of 528 households, six government officials and five project managers of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) were interviewed. Additionally, seven Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) involving three women, two male and two teacher groups were conducted. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Program. The Chi-square test was used to determine associations and differences between variables. In the study, 83% of the respondents were aware of Traditional Flood Knowledge (TFK) and 80% acknowledged its use. Perception of the risk is influenced by several variables, most notably past experience of major floods and having survived them. Residents in the high risk areas had significantly higher levels of awareness and use of traditional flood knowledge. They were more aware of the nature of the flood related health risks they were exposed to and appeared better prepared for future flood risk. They were, however, more dependent on external aid. On the other hand, residents living in the low risk area reported better success with their response mechanisms.
Population vulnerability and disaster risk reduction : a situation analysis among the landslide affected communities in Kerala, IndiaSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 3, pp 367 –380 (2010)More Less
Landslides affect at least 15% of the land area of India, exceeding 0.49 million km2. Taking the case of landslide affected communities in the state of Kerala in India, this paper demonstrates that the focus has seldom been placed on assessing and reducing vulnerability. From the perspective of political economy, this paper argues that vulnerability reduction has to be the main priority of any disaster risk reduction programme. This paper also demonstrates that the interactions between ecological and social systems are usually complex and non-linear in nature. In contrast, interventions to tackle landslide risks have followed a linear course, assuming that one hazard event acts independently of another. The key findings of the study show that lack of access to political power, decision making, and resources, insecure livelihoods, environmental degradation, and ineffectiveness of the state approach to disaster risk reduction are some of the major factors that lead to increasing vulnerability. Qualitative in nature, the primary data were collected through in-depth interviews with people from different groups such as farmers affected by the landslides and secondary floods, men and women living in the temporary shelter, government representatives involved in relief activities, health authorities, and elected representatives.
Author Willi FalingSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 3, pp 383 –384 (2010)More Less
Very little has been written on the growing number of urban disaster risk hotspots, or the integration of disaster risk reduction and human settlement planning in Africa aside from publications by the World Bank, United Nations and a few other international organisations. This book aspires to fill these gaps, and I recommend it as essential reading for any urban development or disaster management practitioner or academic concerned with risk reduction in African cities. I also recommended the book for courses on sustainable human settlements, development planning and disaster risk reduction.