Risk Management In Gambia

755 Words4 Pages
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, and landslides constitute a major problem in many developing and developed countries. Many nations experienced fatalities and injuries, property damage, and economic and social disruption resulting from natural disasters. Flood disaster has a very special place in natural hazards. In The Gambia (West-Africa), floods have been a major natural hazard, affecting the country over the last decade. Floods and windstorms have affected nearly 34,000 people during the rainy season between September and October 2012 and almost 20% (7,745 people) of the affected population were displaced while 13 people were reported to have died either through drowning or by collapsed…show more content…
Thywissen(4) documented no less than thirty-six definitions. Birkmann(5) noted that ‘we are still dealing with a paradox: we aim to measure vulnerability, yet we cannot define it precisely. However, there are generally two perspectives in which vulnerability can be viewed and which are closely linked with the evolution of the concept(6): (1) the amount of damage caused to a system by a particular hazard (technical or engineering sciences oriented perspective), and (2) a state that exists within a system before it encounters a hazard (social sciences oriented perspective ). The former perspective emphasizes assessments of hazards and their impacts, in which the role of human systems in mediating the outcomes of hazard events is downplayed or neglected. The latter perspective puts the human system on the central stage and focuses on determining the coping capacity of the society, the ability to resist, respond and recover from the impact of a natural hazard(7). In order words, the technical sciences perspective of vulnerability focuses primarily on physical aspects(7) and the social sciences perspective takes into account various factors and parameters that influence vulnerability such as physical, economic, social, environmental, and institutional characteristics.(8) Other approaches emphasize the need to account for additional global factors, such as globalization and climate change. An example set of definitions on vulnerability used in natural hazards risk assessment and global change research is presented in Table II. Pelling(9) understands vulnerability as a concept comprising exposure (location relative to hazard, environmental surrounding), resistance (livelihood, health), and resilience
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