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Challenges to disaster risk reduction: A study of stakeholders’ perspectives in Imizamo Yethu, South Africa  [cached]
Ann-Sofie Roth,Per Becker
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2011, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v3i2.41
Abstract: South Africa is a complex and dynamic society, with overwhelming and increasing problems with disaster risk in the vulnerable urban communities in and around its rapidly growing metropolitan centres. The purpose of this study is to improve the understanding of the challenges for disaster risk reduction in such communities. It focuses on the case of Imizamo Yethu, in the Western Cape, in order to build theory that is grounded in the empirical realities of stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction there. The result points towards five interrelated key challenges, which must be concurrently addressed through large-scale development efforts. Without such investments, it is unlikely that disaster risks can be reduced to tolerable levels.
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.
The Hyogo Framework for Action and its implications for disaster management and reduction in Africa
Dejo Olowu
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2010, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v3i1.22
Abstract: 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 signi!cance 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.
Towards improved public awareness for climate related disaster risk reduction in South Africa: A Participatory Development Communication perspective
Tigere Chagutah
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2009, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v2i2.19
Abstract: Southern Africa has frequently been struck by damaging climate hazards which increasingly continue to threaten sustainable development efforts. Ominously, climate models predict that the incidence of major ‘wet’ events, such as floods and cyclones will increase in frequency against the background of a changing climate. Unfortunately, local mechanisms for communicating and raising public awareness of the consequent risks and appropriate risk reduction options remain weak. At the core of policy responses to the threat posed by climate related hazards, the South African government has adopted a disaster risk reduction approach to disaster management. This article details how, among many other measures to limit the adverse impacts of natural hazards, South Africa’s National Disaster Management Framework calls for the implementation of effective public awareness activities to increase the knowledge among communities of the risks they face and what risk-minimising actions they can take. Emphasis is laid on the importance of information provision and knowledge building among at-risk communities. Citing established theories and strategies, the author proposes a participatory development communication approach through Development Support Communication strategies for the provision of disaster risk reduction public awareness activities by government and other disaster risk reduction role-players in South Africa. By way of a review of completed studies and literature, the article provides guidance on the planning and execution of successful public communication campaigns and also discusses the constraints of communication campaigns as an intervention for comprehensive disaster risk reduction.
Parallel structures for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Southern Africa
Per Becker,Marcus Abrahamsson,Magnus Hagelsteen
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2013, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v5i2.68
Abstract: During the last decade, the interest of the international community in the concepts of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation has been growing immensely. Even though an increasing number of scholars seem to view these concepts as two sides of the same coin (at least when not considering the potentially positive effects of climate change), in practice the two concepts have developed in parallel rather than in an integrated manner when it comes to policy, rhetoric and funding opportunities amongst international organisations and donors. This study investigates the extent of the creation of parallel structures for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The chosen methodology for the study is a comparative case study and the data are collected through focus groups and content analysis of documentary sources, as well as interviews with key informants. The results indicate that parallel structures for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation have been established in all but one of the studied countries. The qualitative interviews performed in some of the countries indicate that stakeholders in disaster risk reduction view this duplication of structures as unfortunate, inefficient and a fertile setup for conflict over resources for the implementation of similar activities. Additional research is called for in order to study the concrete effects of having these parallel structures as a foundation for advocacy for more efficient future disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
Synergies across the natural resources management fields in Southern Africa: Disaster Risk Reduction and One Health  [cached]
Clara Bocchino,Richard Burroughs
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2013, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v5i2.74
Abstract: For various reasons, Southern Africa may be considered the playground as well as the thinking tank for many theories and practices in the natural resources management field. History has contributed to reshape conservation practices through colonial times, and recent wars have led to the relocation of people from their homelands and the appropriation by people of previously protected areas due to socio-economic pressures. Contemporary practices stemming from sustainable development have not yielded the expected results in resolving critical socio-economic stresses that impact on environmental health. Furthermore, human health has deteriorated in remote rural areas due to the failures of governance systems and the perpetration of non-participatory models for natural resources management, especially conservation. This paper seeks to explore how two relatively new approaches, Disaster Risk Reduction and One Health, can together tap into the theoretical and practical gaps left by previous paradigms in order to instill a sustainable development approach that can benefit both people and natural resources in remote and poor rural areas.
The contribution of ineffective urban planning practices to disaster and disaster risks accumulation in urban areas: the case of former Kunduchi quarry site in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  [cached]
Benedict F. Malele
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2009, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v2i1.14
Abstract: This study examined the link between urban planning practices and disaster risks. The study used the former Kunduchi Quarry Site within the City of Dar es Salaam to demonstrate how laxity in enforcing the laid down planning rules, regulations and procedures facilitates the accumulation and occurrence of disaster risks and disasters in urban areas. This undermines one of the central roles of urban planning, which is to protect the lives of people from disaster risks and disasters. In exploring this, the study specifically focused on understanding the rules, regulations and procedures of planning in Tanzania; the extent to which they are followed and, where they are not followed, their implications for disaster risks and disasters; the coping initiatives adopted by local communities to reduce risks and their level of success or failure; and finally the drawing of lessons and recommendations for disaster risk reduction in urban areas. Strongly emerging from this study is the finding that although planning rules and regulations do exist, they are not enforced. As a result urban communities suffer from disaster risks and disasters caused by unregulated activities. The study analyzed the coping initiatives that urban communities apply to reduce disaster risks in their areas. It noted that, while a range of “coping” responses could be observed, these are not lasting solutions to the disaster risks being faced. Sustainable solutions seem to be known by the local community but they are not adopted for fear of compromising or undermining their existing livelihood strategies.
Study on The Earthquake Disaster Reduction Information Management System and Its Application
Youhai Guan,Xudong Cheng,Yuan Zhang
International Journal of Intelligent Systems and Applications , 2011,
Abstract: It is significant to scientifically carry out the urban earthquake disaster reduction. According to the features of China urban earthquake disaster reduction, this paper designed the urban earthquake disaster reduction information management system, which proposed a system design idea, system composition and function structure. The system adopted the object-oriented language VB6.0 and the component set ArcGIS Engine provided by ESRI for development. We applied a variety of information techniques (GIS and database) for spatial information acquisition, analysis and computing, and drew up function modules corresponding to inquiry, spatial analysis, risk analysis and data management. By using this system we can achieve scientific management about the earthquake disaster information in storage and transportation engineering, draw up kinds of earthquake emergency decisions intellectually and make them visual, which improved the efficiency and velocity of earthquake emergency evidently, and assisted the decision-making system effectively for the earthquake emergency work .
Participatory Approach for Integrated Basin Planning with Focus on Disaster Risk Reduction: The Case of the Limpopo River  [PDF]
Mathias Spaliviero,Morgan De Dapper,Chris M.Mannaerts,Antonio Yachan
Water , 2011, DOI: 10.3390/w3030737
Abstract: This paper defends the idea that a participatory approach is a suitable method for basin planning integrating both water and land aspects. Assertions made are based on scientific literature review and corroborated by field experience and research carried out in the Limpopo River basin, a transboundary river located in southern Africa which is affected by periodical floods. The paper explains how a basin strategic plan can be drafted and disaster risk reduction strategies derived by combining different types of activities using a bottom-up approach, despite an institutional context which operates through traditional top-down mechanisms. In particular, the “Living with Floods” experience in the lower Limpopo River, in Mozambique, is described as a concrete example of a disaster adaptation measure resulting from a participatory planning exercise. In conclusion, the adopted method and obtained results are discussed and recommendations are formulated for potential replication in similar contexts of the developing world.
Disaster risk assessment at Roburnia Plantation, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Rudzani A. Makhado,Amani T. Saidi
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2013, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v5i1.64
Abstract: This study reports about disaster risk assessment undertaken at Roburnia Plantation, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were followed to collect data. A total of eight experienced foresters and fire fighters were purposively sampled for interview at Roburnia Plantation. A questionnaire survey was also used to collect the data. Risk levels were quantified using the risks equations of Wisner et al. (2004) and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR 2002). Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Analysis of variance (ANOVA, single factor) was also applied. This study found that Roburnia Plantation is highly exposed to fire risks. The mean (± s.d.) output from the Wisner risk equation shows that fire is the highest risk at 7.7 ± 0.3, followed by harsh weather conditions at 5.6 ± 0.4 and least by tree diseases, pests and pathogens at 2.3 ± 0.2. Similarly, the mean (± s.d.) output from the UNISDR risk equation also shows that fire is the highest risk at 2.9 ± 0.2, followed by harsh weather conditions at 2.2 ± 0.3 and least by tree diseases, pests and pathogens at 1.3 ± 0.2. There was no significant deference in the risk analysis outputs (p = 0.13). This study also found that the number of fire incidents were low during summer, but increased during winter and spring. This variation is mainly due to a converse relationship with rainfall, because the availability of rain moistens the area as well as the fuel. When the area and fuel is moist, fire incidents are reduced, but they increase with a decrease in fuel moisture.
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