resilience reporter

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Prevention better than cure in natural disasters

Disaster preparedness now more urgent

Jamaica enters the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1 without the will to tackle the weaknesses that a major hurricane strike would show up or any indication that it has learnt from lessons from the recent past, says Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, director of the Mona GeoInformatics Institute.

The country suffered massive flood damage in April and May, costing billions of dollars, dislocating budget spending plans, and undermining national economic growth targets, according to analysts. However, Lyew-Ayee pointed out that Jamaica has suffered similar flood damage in the past without remedial…

Disaster preparedness in a practical sense

The country is experiencing natural disasters nearly every year where we witnessed floods and landslides claiming many innocent lives in Koslanda three years ago and in Mawanella last year followed by several areas in Sabaragamuwa, Central and Southern Provinces this year.

After a lapse of a few years, floods too showed their fury for two consecutive years, due to the overflowing of the Kelani Ganga last year and Kalu Ganga, Nilwala Ganga and Gin Ganga this year. Every time the authorities warn the possible victims before the disaster and totally forget them thereafter or soon after the disaster recedes from memory.

For instance, immediately before the floods hit the lower Kelani Valley areas last year the authorities warned the people living on either side of the down-stream to leave their homes and move to safer areas. Very few people obliged before the flood waters touched their doorsteps and many others had to be evacuated by boats by the volunteers and the navy later…

 

Prevention better than cure in natural disasters

By the time ex-tropical cyclone Debbie finished with New Zealand she had trekked 5000km across two continents.

In her wake, Debbie, like many others before her, devastated local communities and cities, displaced families and resulted in loss of life.

As communities count the costs, governments restore services and infrastructure, and families make sense of what’s happened to them, the conversation inevitably turns to climate change and the increased severity with which nature vents her fury.

Yet amid the important debate and discussion about climate change, and its impact on future generations, there is one topic that is conveniently avoided — mitigation.

As the current custodians of the planet we have an obligation to those that follow to do our utmost to protect and preserve the environment…

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