Disaster management in India: the case of livestock and poultry A. Sen (1) & M. Chander (2)
(1) Fellow Programme in Management Scholar, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - 380015, Gujurat, India (2) Senior Scientist, Division of Extension Education, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar – 243 122, Uttar Pradesh, India Submitted for publication: 7 July 2002 Accepted for publication: 25 April 2003
Summary Developing countries are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of disaster management systems, and increasing efforts are being made to streamline preparedness, response and recovery mechanisms at all levels. It is well known that many developing countries, including India, are not always wellprepared to deal with disasters. A lack of well-developed disaster management plans results in a severe loss of human life, animal life and property, which could be saved if the necessary mechanisms were in place. A lot needs to be done to improve the situation, particularly in regard to livestock. This paper describes in detail, with particular reference to India, what can be done to care for animals when natural disasters occur. The authors review various types of natural disasters and their impact on livestock, and outline different preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation strategies. The roles of different agencies, including veterinarians, are also considered. Keywords Community participation – Disaster management – India – Livestock – Man-made disasters – Natural disasters – Poultry – Veterinarian.
The World Health Organization defines disaster as ‘any occurrence that causes damage, economic destruction, loss of human life and deterioration in health and health services on a scale sufficient to warrant an extraordinary response from outside the affected community or area’. It is an event, concentrated in time and space, which causes social, economic, cultural and political devastation and which affects both individual people and communities (23). No disaster is exactly the same as another, and the impact and consequences vary from region to region and community to community.
intervention. Natural disasters account for nearly 80% of all disasters that occur in the world. Disasters can also be classified, according to their impact, as localised, widespread, predictable or unpredictable, and also, major or minor.
Impact of disasters
The impact of a disaster can be categorised as direct, indirect or tertiary. Table I shows these various effects. Apart from the public health consequences of disasters, such as zoonotic diseases and the threat to the food supply, disasters also have negative economic consequences, particularly in developing countries. In these countries, not only do livestock provide milk, meat, traction power for farming and transport, dung, hides, wool, fibre, etc., animals also provide a relatively safe investment option and give the owner social importance (31). Disasters affecting livestock can therefore have a negative
Types of disasters
Disasters can be categorised, according to what causes them, as natural disasters, i.e. the result of natural phenomena, or manmade disasters, i.e. the result of man’s intervention or non-
© OIE - 2003
Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz., 22 (3)
Table I The impact of disasters on various factors
Direct impact Human lives Indirect impact Exports/imports Tertiary impact Health hazards Long-term development Overall investment climate Funds reallocation (b)
Livestock and other animals Agricultural output Private property Municipal infrastructure Power/telecommunications infrastructure Health/education assets Industry/services output Remittance income (a)
cyclones is increasing every year. Of the thirty-two States and Union Territories in India, twenty-two are disaster prone. 28% of the total cultivable land is prone to drought; 58% of the total...