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Disaster Risk Reduction and Community
Submitted by Kuldeep Sagar on June 28, 2011 - 1:43pm.
Each year, more than 35 million people flee their homes as a result of war, crime, riots, political unrest, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons, and other forms of conflict and so-called “natural” disasters. Through climate change and other causes, few of these disasters are really natural - and their number is increasing.
Poverty, vulnerability and disasters are closely linked - it is most often the resource poorest who are worst affected and suffer most. Their poverty makes them more vulnerable. Communities’ capacities to cope with disasters and recover from the effects are constrained by lack of resources. Many communities integrated DRR in disaster recovery efforts in recent years, which prove valuable against natural calamities, can be transferred and adapted to other communities of similar condition. There is a need of community to community interaction and sharing of the experiences beyond various—national or institutional or sectoral or hazard type—boundaries. There is a need of establishing Community to Community links on DRR to strengthen communities’ efforts on disaster risk reduction. I think there is a need to focus on disaster affected communities’ rights: Right to Livelihood, Right to Safety, Right to Education, and Right to Housing. I think that in the end CBDM or DRR should enhance the Rights of the community. Authorities and Acts and Institutions should not manage or regulate or control but serve the community. Is this happening in current HFA or UN process?
Local communities worldwide have developed knowledge on disaster risk reduction and responded to natural disasters using their indigenous knowledge. There are many prominent examples of communities used their indigenous knowledge they have developed over many years to survive disastrous events and cope with difficult environmental situations. These communities' use of indigenous knowledge to reduce risk, cope and survive natural disasters need to be recognized. This knowledge contains numerous other important characteristics which differentiate it from other types of knowledge.
These include originating within the community, maintaining a non-formal means of dissemination, collectively owned, developed over several generations and subject to adaptation, and imbedded in a community's way of life as a means of survival
The relationship between indigenous knowledge and natural disasters has developed more interest in recent years. The new discussions around indigenous knowledge highlight its potential to improve disaster risk reduction policies through integration into disaster education and early warning systems. Throughout disaster risk reduction literature, four primary arguments have been made for the value of indigenous knowledge. First, various specific indigenous practices
People can prepare, cope and recover