Disaster Management

Topics: Africa, Development, Humanitarian aid Pages: 5 (1300 words) Published: April 3, 2013

Southern African countries are still developing so they are not able to cope up with disasters they encounter. A disaster is better defined as an event of significant impact exceeding the capacity of the affected community to cope using its own resources ending up attracting the intervention of national and international community. The lack of development in southern Africa makes the countries struggle very much to attend to disaster risk hence making it clear that challenges to reduce disaster in Southern Africa is essentially a development question. A number of challenges enshrined around the reason why southern Africa is failing to attend to the disaster are inclusive of economic, social, political, environmental and technological factors. A discussion of the factors mentioned above is the main purpose of this piece Limited finance

Government assistance in such situations is often limited due to the already grave financial burdens they face. According to the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, southern Africa is exposed to disaster risk from various natural causes, particularly those arising from hydro meteorological hazards. Thus this lack of finance can be identified to be a result of lack of development in the sense that a majority of these countries are indebted to western countries thus hindering them from developing their response towards disasters. Hence the governments have difficulties in preserving enough money for disaster management. Khogali (2002) in his article states that an estimated 14 million people in Southern Africa needed food assistance in 2002-2003, and governments struggled to respond. Political Factors

In some countries in the Southern Region of Africa, humanitarian assistance is heavily politicized. The Governments chooses which events to be declared disasters. Some stated criteria are of no use and political expedience is all that counts. In developing countries, elections in particular can be crucial in determining who gets relief and when. Religious groups also play the influence game, seizing the opportunities humanitarian response offers not only to access donor funding but also to win the disciples for their institutions. Benevolence is a tool of religious influence especially when it practiced on mass scale. At one point in time, humanitarian assistance was base on political affiliation in Zimbabwe. Southern African countries lack political development that is why they suffer a lot because they are not united. These political bearers are much more concerned with their political business unlike disaster risk reduction strategies. Politicians have to commit themselves more to disaster in order to help save the souls of many (Zimba2006).It is indeed true that due to the fact that most countries of the region are underdeveloped, disaster risk reduction is caused by this lack of development. Government priorities

This is a major challenge that the southern African countries are facing in that the government does not prioritize the reducing of disaster risks rather they are into politics. They can be said that they are proactive rather than reactive in that they tend to act too late when the risk has already taken its full course For example in Zimbabwe the government is mainly focusing on the recovering of the economy and ignoring the harm that can be caused by these risks. In most developed countries they prioritize the issues they do not get to meet any challenges in reducing disaster risks as compared to southern African countries.

Time of response
Another problem is recovery planning because not every national government is able to assist all poor communities. Thus response towards disasters is delayed. This can be closely noted in Zimbabwe which has a centralized risk management therefore though they get to know about occurrence of a disaster, by the time they get to the area it will be too late as it will have occurred. Hence they is need for decentralization of...
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