Disaster Risk Reduction

Topics: Construction, Emergency management, Building code Pages: 12 (8492 words) Published: April 13, 2015
TO O L S

F O R

M A I N S T R E A M I N G

D I S A S T E R

R I S K

R E D U C T I O N

Construction Design, Building
Standards and Site Selection
G u i d a n c e N o t e 12

Tools for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction is a series of 14 guidance notes for use by development organisations in adapting programming, project appraisal and evaluation tools to mainstream disaster risk reduction into their development work in hazard-prone countries. The series is also of relevance to stakeholders involved in climate change adaptation.

This guidance note focuses on construction design, building standards and site selection, and their role in the mitigation of risk due to natural hazards. The note provides general guidance for design professionals and funding organisations involved in development projects concerning the construction of new infrastructure, strengthening intervention on existing infrastructure and post-disaster reconstruction. It provides guidance for analysing the potential threat posed by poor construction and inappropriate land use in hazard-prone areas. Only formal constructions (mainly buildings) are considered and some guidance is given on designing structural intervention (construction or strengthening) plans to help mitigate risk from natural hazards to vulnerable people, their livelihoods and the local economy. No specific technical solutions for the latter are proposed as each location and hazard requires a solution tailored to local needs and resources. However, references for further reading on technical issues are provided. Hazard risk mitigation infrastructure is not covered by this guidance note.

1. Introduction
A significant part of development assistance is spent on the construction of infrastructure in developing countries. However, these investments and associated development gains can be lost in seconds in the event of a natural hazard event (see Box 1). The majority of human and direct economic losses from a natural hazard event occur as a direct result of damage to the built environment and/or ineffective early warning and evacuation systems. The negative impact of natural hazards on communities can be limited by taking such hazards into consideration when selecting sites, designing new infrastructure and strengthening existing infrastructure. The exclusion of hazard mitigation measures in development projects is unacceptable in view of the increasing disaster risk in developing countries caused by environmental degradation (see Guidance Note 7) and growing urbanisation, with the accompanying rapid increase of poorly built housing, uncontrolled use of land, overstretched services and high population densities. Consequently, development organisations should be accountable for the hazard-proofing measures they include in their construction projects, and for the losses resulting from their noninclusion. This applies to projects where a hands-on approach is adopted or where the work is carried out by others.

Box 1

Consequences of ignoring hazards in construction

The following examples show how the lack of hazard measures or reliance on local best practice only can lead to large human and economic losses and set back development goals in the event of a natural disaster: ■ In the years preceding the May 2000 floods, the World Bank financed the construction of 487 schools in Mozambique according to local building practice. However, during the floods 500 primary schools and seven secondary schools were damaged or destroyed,1 severely setting back development goals.

1

World Bank. Hazards of Nature, Risks to Development: An IEG Evaluation of World Bank Assistance for Natural Disasters. Washington, DC: World Bank, Independent Evaluation Group, 2006. Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/ieg/naturaldisasters/ G u i d a n c e N o t e 12

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The Caribbean Development Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the...
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