Disaster preparedness

Friday, June 21, 2019

Disaster preparedness is one critical thing that people have to adapt to in mitigating the impact of disasters when it strikes. It is a common understanding that when disaster strikes, lives and valuable assets are lost.

The recent heavy windstorm, which hits parts of Central River and Upper River Regions, is a warning to all. It’s was reported that three lives have been lost, in addition to the damage to properties.

Reports also indicate that more than 1247 people have been displaced, as a result of the recent heavy windstorm.

It is high time people starts putting contingency plans as we fast approach the rainy season. Remember, countries would continue to face this kind of natural variability as a result of change in climate patterns. Scientists predict that unless human beings significantly reduce carbon emissions, sea levels will rise, and weather patterns will shift violently. Human-caused pollution has left our planet on the verge of a tipping point at which ecosystems will die and release massive amounts of CO2.

Also, poor urban and city planning are largely to be blamed for some of this predicament, making our towns and cities prone to floods.

Though, it will take a lot of funds and years, but it is high time government takes a holistic look at this issue to minimise the impacts faced by urban dwellers. Because, without proper urban planning, the country will continue to grapple with the issue of floods in the years to come.

However, city dwellers should stop settling on waterways to minimise havoc. For instance, all those communities prone to floods within the Kanifing Municipality and West Coast Region are situated on waterways.  

Remember that climate change is here to stay, so let’s put contingency plans today.

“We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn’t have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness.”

Petra Nemcova