Strategy Report for Hazard Risk Management in India- Consolidated Reply ; Disaster Management Community, Solution Exchange

10 Aug 2007


Members welcomed the idea of preparing a Strategy Report for Hazard Risk Management in India. They opined that while government is systematically enhancing required capacities and establishing systems for risk management and vulnerability reduction, such reports for each of the states help in better understanding of trends and patterns of disasters and factors that influence vulnerabilities.

Respondents outlined that Risk Mapping is an important integral component of Disaster Management (DM) and proper identification of risks leads to better disaster preparedness. They listed various types of vulnerabilities like environmental/ physical, socio- economic and socio- cultural vulnerability and suggested to incorporate and crosslink all these to do comprehensive risk mapping. They also stressed that socio-economic dimensions are equally important while building a hazard profile as poverty data, and suggested to include indicators like settlement pattern, population distribution, cultural practices, livelihood patterns, food insecurity, and health and education profiles.

Discussants provided their insights on carrying out risk mapping at different disaster management phases. They outlined few experiences of post disaster risk mapping from India, like in Tamil Nadu, during the post tsunami reconstruction phase, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have carried out risk mapping exercise for effective rehabilitation process. They cited initiatives in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry, where detailed coastal mapping of critical ecosystems, landuse/land cover and hydrology changes and impacts of the tsunami are being undertaken. Citing the importance of predisaster risk mapping, members cited another experience of mapping historical occurrence of natural disasters since 1975 in Tamil Nadu.

Members discussed various methodologies towards risk mapping. They stated that indicators of risk assessment vary from stakeholder to stakeholder and thus micro level mapping is a good option. They mentioned the UNDP-DRM initiative in Tamil Nadu where local Communities were involved in making the hazard, vulnerability and opportunity map of the settlements.

Respondents suggested different approaches to do risk assessment. They mentioned Inductive Approach, which use detailed quantification of hazard occurrence probabilities of different levels of magnitude, the elements that would be exposed (population, infrastructure etc.) to the hazards and vulnerable elements in the area of exposure to model the expected disaster risk. Another approach recommended was the Deductive Approach, which makes use of parameters of hazard frequency and physical exposure estimated using systematic geo-referenced inventories of disasters and indicators of vulnerability to model the realized risk (deaths, damage, etc.), estimated using the disaster inventories.

Members opined that the Strategy Report might focus on developing programmes for vulnerable communities on providing better understanding of natural hazards, their causes, and Preparedness and mitigation measures. They felt that this can reduce the impact of natural hazards to man. Another proposition, which came up, was that the report contains the latest techno scientific analysis like GIS (Geographical Information System) remote sensing coupled with the real situation of the particular places like coastal village or urban area using Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercises along with the primary and secondary data from government departments. Finally, they felt that matching these studies to each other to find out the real Hazard Risk vulnerability to find out the necessary strategy for the appropriate management technology of the particular place.

Respondents also shared government departments and programmes, NGOs, organizations, and individuals at the State/Central level who are involved in Risk Mapping for vulnerable communities.

In essence, Respondents felt that the report intends to build a strong case for increased focus on disaster-specific risk management efforts and strategies for the future and help in better utilization of resources with better results.

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