One fine afternoon in January, when you were chilling with your friends, did you by any chance even think of remaining locked down for the next few months? What would you do if you had the faintest idea about it? Would you take any precautions to reduce covid-19 risk? Or at least prepare well to spend this quarantine usefully?
Well, surely you would do something. From the little organizations to the central system, everyone would try to resist the pandemic and take a better preparation for this. It’s a global disaster that dragged us into the worst time of history. We might put a strong backstop to avert this pandemic only if we were a little more concerned.
A place, a country must have some strategies to face any type of disaster. Flood, typhoon, sidr and many more natural disasters attack several places every year. Moreover, there are man-made hazards that slowly create fatal risks and disasters like global warming, change of eco-system, etc. Even if we look at a certain city, how do we know that the buildings are resilient enough? Can we look at an industrial area nearby and say confidently that it is safe for its workers and will not cause any type of explosion?
It is very sorrowful that most of the country’s policy and budget plans are quite heedless of the risk-reducing. The governments have a bigger allocation for the after-disaster situation than for disaster reduction (according to the UN, most of the countries’ allocation for an emergency call is 20 times higher than for prevention of disasters.) Hazards and disasters cause a number of death, destructions, and upheaval in the development of a country irrespective of their types.
In 1989, at a day-long General Assembly, United Nations admitted ‘prevention and precaution’ for a disaster should be promoted. UN believes that everyone, from a small community to a large organization, can contribute to disaster prevention. They can raise awareness and keep their locality safer. The Government policies must be more inclusive. It is not about one or two natural hazards like floods or Tsunami, rather the risk probability of every infrastructural project and economic development planning that should be at the center of attention while making the policies. In 2009, the UN declared 13th October as the International Day for Disaster Reduction.
Creating a global culture of risk reduction and applying it effectively is not a very easy thing to do. This is why the UN adopts a certain framework to move forward systematically. The current framework was adopted through a world conference in Sendai, Japan in 2015. It has seven global targets which are expected to achieve by seven years. The year 2020’s target is ‘Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies. This clearly invites every sensible person to come forward, increase knowledge about risks and raise awareness. This is also a call for good disaster risk governance. A disaster risk governance includes all public and private sectors to make the management multi-dimensional.
In the last few years, UNDP supported a good number of countries to establish offices for disaster management and assessing risks in their disaster-prone regions. Malawi, Indonesia, Mozambique, Bangladesh, and many more countries now have more efficient risk assessors and prevention preparedness. UNDP is also working for knowledge management and implementation for risk reduction in some countries. They assisted to prepare technical guidelines on earthquake vulnerability in Jordan, seismic roadmap, and macro-zonation for Port-au-Prince was completed in Haiti, and so forth.
It is believed that youths are extraordinarily resilient and they can incredibly participate in disaster management if they have sufficient knowledge. Look around, what things do you see? What kind of environmental hazards might strike? Are all the roads and buildings safe? Learn more about risk reduction, encourage your friends, make a group. Maybe tomorrow the world will receive one significant step from you which saved a number of lives!
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