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Views from the Frontline: A critical assessment of local risk governance in South Africa
Doret Botha,Dewald van Niekerk
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2013, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v5i2.82
Abstract: In 2005 the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction introduced the ‘Hyogo Framework for Action’ (HFA) aimed at mainstreaming disaster risk reduction. Subsequently, the ‘Global Network for Disaster Reduction’ (GNDR) was formed to support the implementation of the HFA. The GNDR initiated a country-based, international research project called ‘Views from the Frontline’ (VFL) in order to measure progress at local level in terms of compliance with the HFA. The VFL 2011 project focused on local risk governance, which is critical for effective implementation of policy and provision of resources at grassroots level. This article provides insight into the findings for South Africa. The project made use of quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data was gathered by means of a survey and/or questionnaire consisting of 20 questions on ‘indicators’ which assessed progress toward the goals of the HFA. The surveys also provided for qualitative commentary. The target population for this research consisted of local government officials and community representatives. Based on the quantitative scores for all the different indicators, the research showed that South Africa could still improve significantly in terms of compliance with the HFA. More attention must be given to operationalise the HFA at local level, a culture of safety must be fostered, local actors and communities must be involved directly and consulted, indigenous knowledge must be recognised, and significant capacity development for disaster risk reduction is necessary.
Local governance in disaster risk reduction in Cameroon
Buh-Wung Gaston,Aka F. Tongwa,Clementine Burnley,Zouh T. Isabella
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2012, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v4i1.56
Abstract: 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.
Disaster Risk Reduction: Cases from urban Africa  [cached]
Willi Faling
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2010, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v3i1.37
Abstract: 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.
Translating disaster resilience into spatial planning practice in South Africa: Challenges and champions  [cached]
Willemien van Niekerk
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2013, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v5i1.53
Abstract: It is highly likely that hazards and extreme climatic events will occur more frequently in the future and will become more severe – increasing the vulnerability and risk of millions of poor urbanites in developing countries. Disaster resilience aims to reduce disaster losses by equipping cities to withstand, absorb, adapt to or recover from external shocks. This paper questions whether disaster resilience is likely to be taken up in spatial planning practices in South Africa, given its immediate developmental priorities and challenges. In South Africa, issues of development take precedence over issues of sustainability, environmental management and disaster reduction. This is illustrated by the priority given to ‘servicing’ settlements compared to the opportunities offered by ‘transforming’ spaces through post-apartheid spatial planning. The City of Durban’s quest in adapting to climate change demonstrates hypothetically that if disaster resilience were to be presented as an issue distinct from what urban planners are already doing, then planners would see it as insignificant as compared to addressing the many developmental backlogs and challenges. If, however, it is regarded as a means to secure a city’s development path whilst simultaneously addressing sustainability, then disaster resilience is more likely to be translated into spatial planning practices in South Africa.
Affirmative action in a democratic South Africa
Andries Louw
South African Journal of Industrial Psychology , 1993, DOI: 10.4102/sajip.v19i3.558
Abstract: The affirmative action bandwagon has finally hit South Africa.
An emergent framework of disaster risk governance towards innovating coping capability for reducing disaster risks in local communities
Saburo Ikeda,Toshinari Nagasaka
International Journal of Disaster Risk Science , 2011, DOI: 10.1007/s13753-011-0006-7
Abstract: An emergent framework of disaster risk governance is presented as an implementation strategy for integrated risk management that incorporates innovative local coping capabilities that reduce disaster vulnerability. This framework calls for enhancement of self-support and mutual-assistance through strengthening informal or social networking efforts in local communities, rather than depending on formal or institutional governmental-assistance. The framework is supported by a societal platform of disaster risk information, called DRIP, which the NIED (National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Japan) has developed since 2006 as a tool that promotes improved disaster risk governance. With the help of DRIP, residents, communities, and other stakeholders, linked horizontally or vertically with social networks, can (1) improve their awareness of disaster risks and management issues by sharing risk information as scientific expertise, experiential knowledge, and local/folk wisdom; (2) customize risk communication through analytic deliberation of risk information by employing risk-scenarios developed by residents themselves; (3) develop collaborative activities for informed decision-making that can fully utilize local resources to reorganize coping capability against disaster risks; and (4) disseminate the generated risk scenarios with action plans to other residents who have not participated in the risk communication process.
Using Seasonal Climate Forecasts to Guide Disaster Management: The Red Cross Experience during the 2008 West Africa Floods  [PDF]
Arame Tall,Simon J. Mason,Maarten van Aalst,Pablo Suarez,Youcef Ait-Chellouche,Adama A. Diallo,Lisette Braman
International Journal of Geophysics , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/986016
Abstract: In 2008, the seasonal forecast issued at the Seasonal Climate Outlook Forum for West Africa (PRESAO) announced a high risk of above-normal rainfall for the July–September rainy season. With probabilities for above-normal rainfall of 0.45, this forecast indicated noteworthy increases in the risk of heavy rainfall. When this information reached the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) West and Central Africa Office, it led to significant changes in the organization’s flood response operations. The IFRC regional office requested funds in advance of anticipated floods, prepositioned disaster relief items in strategic locations across West Africa to benefit up to 9,500 families, updated its flood contingency plans, and alerted vulnerable communities and decision-makers across the region. This forecast-based preparedness resulted in a decrease in the number of lives, property, and livelihoods lost to floods, compared to just one year prior in 2007 when similar floods claimed above 300 lives in the region. This article demonstrates how a science-based early warning informed decisions and saved lives by triggering action in anticipation of forecast events. It analyses what it took to move decision-makers to action, based on seasonal climate information, and to overcome traditional barriers to the uptake of seasonal climate information in the region, providing evidence that these barriers can be overcome. While some institutional, communication and technical barriers were addressed in 2008, many challenges remain. Scientists and humanitarians need to build more common ground. 1. Introduction 1.1. West Africa’s Vulnerability to Climate Shocks Seasonal-to-interannual variability of the climate system has major impacts on the populations of West Africa, one of the world’s lowest-income regions. Here, 75% of the active population is employed in a rain fed agricultural sector [1], which is highly climate sensitive. Only 2 percent of the total cultivated land in West Africa is irrigated or under some other form of water management, the remaining 98% being rain fed [1]. In countries such as Niger or Burkina Faso, up to 92% of the active population is employed in the rain-fed agricultural sector [1]. A growing majority of the population also lives in ill-planned urban shantytowns built on flood plains where they settled during the prolonged Sahelian drought period from the early 1970s to the late 1980s [2, 3]. The droughts drove peasants out of the countryside and into unplanned periurban settlements where functioning drainage systems
Using Seasonal Climate Forecasts to Guide Disaster Management: The Red Cross Experience during the 2008 West Africa Floods  [PDF]
Arame Tall,Simon J. Mason,Maarten van Aalst,Pablo Suarez,Youcef Ait-Chellouche,Adama A. Diallo,Lisette Braman
International Journal of Geophysics , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/986016
Abstract: In 2008, the seasonal forecast issued at the Seasonal Climate Outlook Forum for West Africa (PRESAO) announced a highrisk of above-normal rainfall for the July–September rainy season. With probabilities for above-normal rainfall of 0.45, thisforecast indicated noteworthy increases in the risk of heavy rainfall. When this information reached the InternationalFederation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) West and Central Africa Office, it led to significant changes in theorganization’s flood response operations. The IFRC regional office requested funds in advance of anticipated floods,prepositioned disaster relief items in strategic locations across West Africa to benefit up to 9,500 families, updated its floodcontingency plans, and alerted vulnerable communities and decision-makers across the region. This forecast-basedpreparedness resulted in a decrease in the number of lives, property, and livelihoods lost to floods, compared to just one yearprior in 2007 when similar floods claimed above 300 lives in the region. This article demonstrates how a science-based early warning informed decisions and saved lives by triggering action in anticipation of forecast events. It analyses what it took to move decision-makers to action, based on seasonal climate information, and to overcome traditional barriers to the uptake of seasonal climate information in the region, providing evidence that these barriers can be overcome. While some institutional, communication and technical barriers were addressed in 2008, many challenges remain. Scientists and humanitarians need to build more common ground.
Disaster risk reduction in the Omusati and Oshana regions of Namibia  [cached]
Elina Amadhila,Loide Shaamhula,Gert van Rooy,Nguza Siyambango
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2013, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v5i1.65
Abstract: Namibia often experiences heavy rains in the north and north-eastern parts of the country, which results in severe flooding. For this reason, the country has endorsed the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) which seeks to develop the resilience of nations and communities to disasters and to assist countries to move away from the approach of emergency response to one of integrated disaster risk reduction. The aim of this article is to assess the resilience of the communities within the identified regions. A quantitative questionnaire was designed to assess people at risk of disaster related impacts. The questionnaire used 20 indicators to measure the level of progress at local level and how local governance plays a role in the mitigation and management of disasters. Analysis of data was done on a limited number of descriptors such as age, gender and local governance involvement, amongst others. There was generally a very high perception of threat (38%) in the study regions. Women perceived threat more accurately (mean = 4.09) than men. The community perceived threat more accurately than local government and civil society (mean = 4.08).
A Case Study of Campus-Based Initiatives to Disaster Awareness Program: The Road to Resilience
Vivien How, Pamela Jude Peter, Kenny Brian Martinus, Norjihan Bt. Mohd Dzahir, Ain Izzati Bt. Ali, Nur Deena Adzlynn Bt. Ahmad Dzahiruddin, Mohd Fikri Bin Zainal Aripin
Open Access Library Journal (OALib Journal) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1101987
Abstract: Introduction: The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) to build the resilience of nations and communities to disasters has been proposed since year 2005. Even though educational based disaster risk reduction programs have been conducted by the institutional agencies for years, communities are still weak in response to disaster preparedness. The current efforts need to be revised to understand the possible dilemma of moving the community from fragility to resilience. Objective: To examine the community perception of the disaster preparedness and response, and their readiness to become the resilient community. Methodology: This is a case-study conducted among 40 participants at the age of 18 - 29 years from a local private college. A campus-based disaster awareness seminar was initiated into a strategized learning framework to facilitate knowledge transfer and foster awareness built among the participants. The program framework consists of three sections: 1) to expose the participant with information on visual-aid and interactive discussion; 2) to involve the public involvement in hands-on practice bandages and dressings; 3) to evaluate the public’s readiness and acceptance towards a resilience nation based on a survey questionnaire. Result: 75% of the educated respondents claimed that they did not consider themselves as the resilient group of the disaster, and 55% referred to the non-validated news from internet/ social media as the source to gather information. Nevertheless, most of the participants have expressed common expectations, such that 1) to share experiences and knowledge about disaster risk reduction planning and response; 2) to learn how to empower the local community during disasters. Conclusion: It is truth that urban and educated groups are fragile in response to the disaster. Nonetheless, knowledge transfer is one of the most feasible approaches to building a resilient community and fostering a nation who is able to withstand and recover from any upcoming disaster with sustainable development.
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