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- Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies
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- Volume 4, Issue 1, 2012
Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies - Volume 4, Issue 1, 2012
Volume 4, Issue 1, 2012
Recurrent drought in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality of the North West Province in South Africa : an environmental justice perspective : original researchAuthor Gideon Van RietSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –9 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.52More Less
This article adopts an environmental justice approach to recurrent drought in the North-West Province of South Africa. It is based on a secondary data analysis of a study - of which the author was a research team member - conducted in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality in February 2007, which assessed the impact of drought on older people. The methodology used during the initial study included observation, individual interviews, focus group interviews and participatory research. The author of the present article suggests, however, that discourses of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and 'legislative compliance', as in many other South African contexts, have not yet been a particularly useful framing for issues of disaster and drought. The author suggests that environmental justice discourses might offer a more useful framing or conceptualisation for those concerned with the issue of recurrent drought in the study area or similar contexts.
Source: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –7 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.45More Less
The growing economic, social and ecological importance of coastal areas in Ghana has increased the challenges associated with sustainably managing the coastal resources. The coastal areas have become more prone and vulnerable to natural and human-made hazards such as coastal erosion. Shoreline retreat is recognised as a burgeoning threat because of global climate change and other anthropogenic activities that alter the natural processes sustaining beaches and coasts. This article describes an application of Real-time Kinematic-Global Positioning System (RTK-GPS) technology and digitising of shorelines from orthophotos to detect and analyse the spatial changes as well as quantify the result of shoreline change at Glefe, a suburb of Accra in Ghana. Shoreline positions from a 2005 orthophoto and a 2011 RTK-GPS survey were overlaid in MATLAB (Matrix Laboratory) and the average rate of change determined using the endpoint rate (EPR) method. The shoreline change rate determined for Glefe between 2005 and 2011 was 1.2 m/a ± 1.3 m/a, indicating a relatively high rate of erosion. Outcomes of the case study can be used as a basis for a sustainable integrated management plan for the coastal area.
Evaluating earthquake disaster risk management in schools in Rungwe Volcanic Province in Tanzania : original researchAuthor Evaristo HaulleSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –7 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.44More Less
This article establishes existing knowledge on earthquakes and coping mechanisms employed in reducing the severity of adverse impacts caused by an earthquake disaster in a specific locality. The purpose of the study was to recommend useful measures for disaster risk management. It also more particularly aimed at assessing mechanisms employed in reducing the disaster risk and integrating knowledge of disasters and hazards in primary and secondary school curricula. The study was carried out in Rungwe Volcanic Province in Rungwe District, Tanzania, and included recording people's attitudes towards earthquake disaster and locations of schools. It employed focus group discussions, public hearings and interviews in order to capture the actual situation relating to risk and vulnerability assessments by the community. The study revealed high levels of risk and vulnerability to the impact of earthquakes on the part of the community, who accepted earthquakes as a normal phenomenon and therefore did not employ special measures to reduce the impact. The study showed that the community's coping mechanisms and the extent to which disaster management knowledge has been integrated in school curricula are inadequate in addressing earthquake disasters. It is thus recommended that traditional and modern technologies be integrated in curricula and later in sustainable practices; such technologies include the belief in 'Nyifwila', traditional housing style and wooden housing, and non-structural planning for disaster risk management.
Drought preparedness, impact and response : a case of the Eastern Cape and Free State provinces of South Africa : original researchAuthor Makala J. NgakaSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –10 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.47More Less
Drought is a major disaster in South Africa in terms of total economic loss and number of people affected. This study investigated and analysed the preparedness, impact of and response by the farming community to the 2007/2008 drought using the Eastern Cape and Free State provinces of South Africa as case studies. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in this study. Primary data were collected through face-to-face interviews with sampled recipients of the 2007/2008 drought relief scheme. These were analysed using MedCalc® software and various statistical tests and correlations were performed to test for statistical differences on key variables. Major findings of this study included inadequacy of the extension support service, particularly as a vehicle for disseminating early-warning information. The most significant impact was livestock losses, and t-test results supported the hypothesis that there was a significant difference in terms of drought impact for the three categories of farmers (i.e. small, medium and large scale), particularly with regard to the proportion of livestock lost. A Logit analysis showed that the decision to reduce livestock during drought was influenced by access to land and race. The main constraint to the drought relief scheme, as perceived by the respondents, was the turnaround time - they felt that the relief was provided long after the disaster had occurred.
Flooding, flood risks and coping strategies in urban informal residential areas : the case of Keko Machungwa, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania : original researchSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –10 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.46More Less
This article presents findings from a study carried out in Keko Machungwa informal settlement in Dar es Salaam under the auspices of the Disaster Management Training Centre of Ardhi University, Tanzania. The settlement has experienced frequent flooding in the past five years,and this study explores the causes, risks, extent of flooding and coping strategies of residents as well as municipality and city officials. Key methods employed in capturing empirical evidence included mapping of zones by severity of flooding, interviews with households, subward leaders, and municipal and city officials. Non-participant observation, primarily taking photographs, complemented these methods. Laboratory tests of water samples taken from shallow wells in the settlement were performed to establish the level of pollution. In addition, records of prevalence of water-borne diseases were gathered from a dispensary within the settlement to corroborate flooding events, water pollution and occurrence of such diseases. Findings show that flooding is contributed to by the lack of a coordinated stormwater drainage system; haphazard housing development within the valley; and blocking of the water stream by haphazard dumping of solid waste and construction. Risks associated with flooding include water and air pollution, diseases, waterlogging and blocked accessibility. The most common coping strategies at household level are use of sandbags and tree logs; raised pit latrines and doorsteps; provision of water outlet pipes above plinth level; construction of embankments, protection walls and elevation of house foundations; seasonal displacement; and boiling and chemical treatment of water. Recommendations for future action at household, community and city level are made.
Household attitudes and knowledge on drinking water enhance water hazards in peri-urban communities in Western Kenya : original researchSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –5 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.49More Less
Ensuring safe drinking water remains a big challenge in developing countries where waterborne diseases cause havoc in many communities. A major challenge is limited knowledge, misinformation and attitudes that work against ensuring that drinking water is safe. This study investigated the knowledge, attitudes and practices of peri-urban households in Kakamega Town of Western Kenya, concerning the collection, treatment and storage of drinking water. Alongside this we examined the role of solid waste disposal in water safety. Three hundred and seventy eight households from four residential regions of varying economic levels were randomly sampled in Kakamega Town. Data was collected via questionnaire interviews that incorporated attitude questions based on a Likert scale of 1-5, and administered to the households and key informants. The results showed most respondents were knowledgeable about ideal methods of water collection, treatment and storage. However, they did not practise them appropriately. Some attitudes among the respondents worked against the ideals of achieving safe drinking water. For instance, many households perceived their drinking water source as safe and did not treat it, even when obtained from open sources like rivers. Further, they preferred to store drinking water in clay pots, because the pots kept the water cold, rather than use the narrow-necked containers that limit exposure to contaminants. Also, hand washing with soap was not practised enough in their daily lives to avoid contact with waterborne hazards. We recommend that the government undertake training programmes on drinking water safety that advocate appropriate water use, hygiene and sanitation strategies.
Tracking the evolution of the disaster management cycle : a general system theory approach : original researchSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –9 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.54More Less
Officials and scholars have used the disaster management cycle for the past 30 years to explain and manage impacts. Although very little understanding and agreement exist in terms of where the concept originated it is the purpose of this article to address the origins of the disaster management cycle. To achieve this, general system theory concepts of isomorphisms, equifinality, open systems and feedback arrangements were applied to linear disaster phase research (which emerged in the 1920s) and disaster management cycles. This was done in order to determine whether they are related concepts with procedures such as emergency, relief, recovery and rehabilitation.
Source: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –11 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.61More Less
In 2006, the ISDR (International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) (2007) initiated a campaign called Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School to encourage the integration of disaster risk education into school curricula in countries vulnerable to disasters. A study was initiated to determine how education, in particular curriculum development and teaching, contributes to South African learners' hazard awareness and disaster preparedness. Mixed method research (consisting of questionnaires, interviews and document reviews) was done to collect data. 150 educators from Gauteng, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and the Eastern Cape completed questionnaires. Five curriculum coordinators, three disaster specialists and two disaster lecturers were interviewed to record their perspectives. The first finding of the study was that the majority of educators, disaster specialists and curriculum coordinators identified floods, fire, droughts, epidemics, road accidents and storms as the most prevalent disasters in the country. The second finding from the literature and empirical data collection revealed that South African communities, particularly people residing in informal settlements and other poor areas, are more vulnerable to disasters than their counterparts in more affluent areas. The third finding of the study was that teaching learners about hazards and disasters is vital and must be expanded.
Author Admire M. NyamwanzaSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –6 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.55More Less
The concepts resilience and adaptive capacity have gained currency in ecology, climate change, disaster risk reduction and related development discourse; yet there has been almost an absence of clarity in the understanding, substance, definition as well as applicability of these concepts in livelihoods theory and practice - where they can potentially contribute far-reaching insights vis-à-vis long-term response to livelihoods adversity in different communities. Drawing upon literature from several disciplines utilising these concepts, this article traces the roots and evolvement of the resilience and adaptive capacity concepts and suggests indicators and pillar processes towards their integration into livelihoods thinking. This article therefore mainly contributes towards the conceptualisation and understanding of a focused 'resilience and adaptive capacity' construct in livelihoods analysis.
Source: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –9 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.56More Less
At the 2005 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Hyogo, Japan, 168 countries including Cameroon adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action, committing to take action to reduce human and socio-economic disaster losses. Geotechnology, Environmental Assessment and Disaster Risk Reduction was commissioned by the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Risk Reduction as the coordinating organisation in Cameroon to evaluate progress in implementation of the framework from the civil society perspective, particularly the role of local governance in disaster risk reduction (DRR). Seven regions of the country were identified for evaluation, where people have suffered losses from disasters during the last three decades. Three approaches were used: administration of questionnaires; consultations with local communities; and four case studies. It was found that there was significant scope for improvement on individual local governance indicators, and that effective progress depends on:
1. level of achievement in the decentralisation process currently under way.
2. adoption of a participatory approach to DRR.
3. clear distribution of roles in the DRR process.
4. adequate allocation of necessary financial and human resources.
5. enhancement of capacity of local communities to prepare for and respond to all types of disasters.
Creation of an independent body to carry out fundamental research, forecast new and emerging hazards and manage all disasters in the country will contribute greatly to moving things forward.
Building collaboration through shared actions : the experience of the Global Network for Disaster Reduction : original researchAuthor Terry GibsonSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 4, pp 1 –6 (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.48More Less
This article asks how the emergent Global Network for Disaster Reduction has built collaboration and impact. Observation of the network's journey nuanced the researcher's initial hypothesis in marked ways. A 'reflective practitioner' perspective is adopted, locating action within two relevant theoretical frameworks to aid understanding and define future progress. Development showed an early emphasis on a 'community of practice' model. However, this appeared ineffective in creating the intended collaboration and led to the recognition of the power of shared action. This observation is framed within the thinking of Freire (1996) on action and reflection as a means of empowerment. The political dimension of the network's activity is recognised, and is related to Gaventa's (1980) thinking on the creation of political space. The article attempts to show that combining cycles of action and reflection in the network's activity (i.e. creating a practitioner focus) with a wider investigation of relevant literature and thinking can be helpful in framing understanding and determining future strategy. It concludes by suggesting that a proposed framework of 'communities of praxis' may have a broader application in the development of networks.