Friday, October 11, 2013

Disaster Recovery

Five Lessons Learnt in Recovery

1.     It is possible to reduce loss of life and property through preparedness
2.     Preparedness is necessary at every level – national, provincial, local and community
3.     Preparedness is necessary in every sector
4.     Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning to ensure better coordination among various sectors in different levels
5.     Such planning needs to be formalized in the shape of manuals and Standard Operating Procedures so that there is no confusion during and after disasters

Five principles of recovery

1.     Holistic  - cover housing, infrastructure, education, livelihood, health, psycho-social care etc.
2.     Long term  - provide  livelihood support including development of skill, provisioning of credit and marketing support etc
3.     ‘Build back better’ -  ensure that the houses and infrastructure constructed after disasters withstand the hazards and risks of nature and the hazards do not become disasters again
4.     Sustainable -  integrate environmental issues, such regeneration of mangroves, conservation of water,
5.     Inclusive - care for poor and vulnerable - women, children, aged, physically and mentally challenged people

Unfinished agenda in India

1.     India has developed a legal and institutional system of disaster management 
2.     India has also taken important steps for better response and preparedness
3.     Lots to be done for preparedness to match acceptable risks
4.     Prevention and mitigation continues to remain weak
5.     Early warning of flood and extreme weather events needs lots of improvements
6.     Hazard resistant building bye laws notified, but standard of implementation is poor
7.     Strengthening of lifeline structures still unattended task
8.     Many metropolitan cities have accumulated risks and vulnerabilities that trigger mega disasters in future
9.     Country is yet to develop a risk transfer and risk insurance system
Human miseries and sufferings provide opportunities not only for recovery and reconstruction but also to look into what went wrong and improve the system to reduce the chances of their recurrence in future.
Reducing the risks of disasters is a complex, difficult and challenging task. It involves painstaking efforts across sectors over the years which are not always visible and therefore becomes low priorities for the powers that be. Disasters, on the contrary, are highly visible, occupying the centre stage of public space, in print and electronic media, in society and politics, in mind and consciousness, in a manner which few other event does. The scale and magnitude of human sufferings in disasters provide unique opportunity to mobilize political support and resources to reduce the risks of disasters, to build back better for the future and to make the community and nations resilient to disasters.

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