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change. The book will use methodologies from natural sciences, social and management sciences and traditional belief systems, because this book is aimed specially at investigating the status of disaster in the space and time of the developing world. Disaster is an event that requires help from an outside source to recover as the immediate living environment of the affected has been temporarily or permanently destroyed. It is an event that can occur unexpectedly or due to negligence of governance. When it occurs, a disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, economic or environmental losses that exceed the community's or society's ability to cope using its own resources. Though often caused by nature, disasters of human origin have begun to kill many more people than natural disasters in the developing world. “For a disaster to be entered into the database of the UN's International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), at least one of the following criteria must be met: a report of 10 or more people killed a report of 100 people affected a declaration of a state of emergency by the relevant government a request by the national government for international assistance “ (http://www.irinnews.org) In the context of developing world where, democratic institutions are not properly established and socio-political corruption leads to non-adherence to scientific ways of development resulting in continuing poverty, the identification of disaster has to be extended beyond the common understanding. In here the definitions utilised by the developed world has to be extended to include the types of disasters of natural and societal origin present in the developing world. This extended definition will account for the social disaster,
which is not considered within the general understanding of disaster in developed world. Therefore this book written specially for the use of students of Sri Lanka, will present the extended concept of disaster, which adds following criteria to the ISDR definition (http://www.irinnews.org). In addition to ISDR definition of disaster, this book includes events resulting from negligence due to failure to establish democratic institutions, socio-political corruption and nonadherence to scientific ways of development as disasters. This is because the problems of development are today considered a result of lack of freedom (Sen, 1999) and non-utilisation of capabilities. For example, poverty of the farming population in Sri Lanka is related to inability of the nation to find a market for their agricultural products, increase efficiency in agriculture and lack of new vision on diversification of production. The farmer economy related media reports indicate that there are serious problems in the distribution of fertiliser, irrigation management and crop diversification. A survey conducted between 2005 January 1 st and 2006 January 1strevaled that there were 413 different cases of reported corruption in four daily newspapers in Sri Lanka. Further there were 216 cases of political and administrative corruption reported in media during the same period. Political and administrative corruption is recorded in about 12,000 web sites and World Bank, Asian development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Authority have warned of high level of corruption in government tender procedures. The effect of this inefficiency and unscientific approach results in poor quality roads, public transport, and traffic congestion which leads to a massive destruction of resources of fuel, property and life amounting to about 10 to 12 billion Rupees annually making it the second most damaging disaster after war. Most recent reports (LMD, 2006) indicate that 71 percent of the population believe that government sector is corrupt and the level of efficiency of public services is about 15 percent. A survey conducted in about 120 government offices between 2004 and 2006 by a group of MBA students indicate that they are highly inefficient with long delays in attending to revenue collection and road repair. About 200 (Seneviratne, 2003) surveys on poverty conducted by various authors since 2000 indicate that corruption is one of the major social disasters in Sri Lanka, which leads to an annual loss
of about 600 to 1000 billion Rupees. The situation in most of the other developing countries is not much different from the situation in Sri Lanka and these countries are poor mainly due to financial corruption in them. Therefore, in the context of developing world corruption and related anti-social activities have to be treated as disasters, because they lead to poverty of their people and in turn poverty reduces the ability of the society to plan and implement disaster management systems. Social construct of disaster The social construct of disaster can be personal and communal, but the damage can be explained within the domains of scientific definition of disaster. It is clear that it is the effect not the scale of disaster which is important in the social construct of disaster in the developing world. This is because that the effect of disaster in the developing world has only a limited and temporary support from the institutional or any other system in them. Therefore, immediately after the clearance of the first impact of the disaster, people (communally or individually) have to find avenues of recovery by themselves. Long term recovery depends totally on the ability of the people (communally or individually) to find solutions to the problems associated with recovery. This is because decision making in disaster management in developing countries are not conducted within the principles of disaster management. Therefore person, extended family and community have to gather help and support the victims. Therefore the definition of disaster has to be extended to include many disasters which are not considered to be disasters in the developed world. The following life experiences show the effect of disaster on people (communally or individually) in the developing world. Some of the incidents report less than 10lives lost and do not require outside help if they have occurred in the developed world, where social and insurance support is available. Therefore this book includes many types of disasters which are not listed as disasters in the books written in the developed world. “We have lived here for three generations, we never knew that there will be a disaster like this” A plantation worker commenting on Beragala Land Slide, which killed 13 people. Property damage was estimated at 2 million Rupees at 1966 value. “All the paddy fields are gone, our livelihoods are totally destroyed” a farmer at Kolonne, Sri Lanka, after a mudslide destroyed about 20 hectares of Paddy. 7 people lost their lives and property damage was about 10 million Rupees (1966 Rupee value).
The area remained barren till about 1980 and the total loss of income was estimated be about 200 million Rupees. About six families migrated to Walawe project area as they had no other income. “ Oh, I thought that all is over, I heard the sound of breaking glass coming towards me, then I closed my eyes and began to prey” Author facing a minor Air Crash, Paris, which killed 1 and injured about 12. Author suffered minor concussion, 1973. “ We may not be able stop this process, we may have to leave by next year” a farmer at Gumsi, Nigeria-Niger border, commenting on advancing dunes, settlement was abandoned in 1985 as sand began to bury houses, 1983. “ This is a disaster of Bibbilical proportions, Lake has never been so low” a regional Prince commenting on the lake level of Lake Chad at Baga, Nigeria-Cameroun border, Lake Chad continued to dry-up and in 1990, the lake was at its lowest level resulting in mass migration from the area, 1984. “ Oh my god why this happened to me” a mason who lost his family in a flood formed due to dam collapse, Alo Dam Collapse, Maiduguri, Nigeria, dam collapse was due to a flash flood in the northern Mandara mountains, which killed about 14 and damaged and destroyed property worth of about 12 million US Dollars, 1991. “Aiyo, Aiyo, my child, why did you leave me” mother who lost her child in a flood, Wee Oya, Yatiyanthota, 1998. “Oh it was a disaster, it washed off my paddy field”, farmer (average monthly income of Rs. 3000/=) who lost all his paddy fileds in the Puwakgahawela Landslide, at Belihuloya, Sri Lanka, 2001. “ I could not believe that very big trees can fall like that and if the big tree was not blocked by an another big tree, it would have fallen on to our house and we would have been killed” a school leaver‟s comment on what happened during 2001Cyclone at Mihinthale, November, 2001. Total damage to Mihinthale area was about 2 million Rupees (2001 Rupee value).
“Accountability is disastrously low”. Expert on development planning referring to financial corruption (related to Tsunami expenditure) in a developing country, 2002. “ What a disaster is this, Oh God why did this happen” father (Railway Station Master) who lost his family in the 20041226 Asian mega Tsunami, at Telwaththa train tragedy, Telwaththa, Sri Lanka, 2004. “ We knew that this disaster will happen. How many times we told them to look into the problem”. A fatal accident at a railway crossing (Driver, who was in a hurry entered the bus into the railway track from the opposite lane and resultant accident caused 42 deaths and 35 serious injuries and 11 minor injuries), Yangalmodera, Sri Lanka, 2005. “ It was a disaster waiting to happen. Why did they concentrate so many unarmed troops at one point” (the Navy troop exchange point located at a vulnerable location), comment by a villager, Suicide bombing of a navy convoy at Habarana, Sri Lanka, 2006. “My secretary (ministerial secretary) told me to inform you that what you have predicted has come true. I have told her that you base your explanations on field facts” A comment made by one of the author‟s student (now working as an assistant director in a ministry related to environment) on the 2nd February, 2007, referring to heavy landslide activity in the hill country of Sri Lanka. Author has informed the importance of climatic change and poor settlement planning during a lecture series and field tours with the above student in 2002. Primarily, the social construct of the nature and severity of disaster is based on their individual or communal cost of damage. In addition trauma caused, is a valuable variable in personal disasters. However, the more permanent construct is formed as a result of a disaster with higher losses than lower losses. For example any disaster with more than four lives lost is considered to be a major disaster by about 74 percent of the people interviewed in a survey on impact of disaster. This may be a result of four is the average family size in Sri Lanka and any number above may hint that the loss is equal or more than a loss of a family. Loss of a family from a community is felt without any form of social borders as during most of the big disasters, it was clear that people were shocked when they heard of four or more than four deaths. This finding is not in accordance with the international limit of 10 or more people killed for a hazardous occurrence to be identified as a disaster
(http://www.irinnews.org). The limit of property damage for an incident to be categorized as a disaster was a situation equal or more than the destruction of about 2 or more houses, permanent blockade of road and burial or erosion of farmland or home garden. At the end of about 164 observations made between 1966 and 2006 in Sri Lanka, term disaster was used in relation to deaths at 78 percent of the time, indicating that death is the basic denominator of the social construct of disaster. Traditional understanding Traditional understanding and modern disaster management identifies disasters on the basis of their relationship to origin. On the basis of origin disasters are studied under two major groups: Natural and Societal. Natural disasters Origin Geological Space Debris Meteorites Magnetic Fluctuations Pole shift Solar Flair Magnetic storm All the time All the time Any time Any time Any time Any time Local to Global Local to Global Local to Global Global Local to Regional Local to Regional Global Global Regional Regional Local Local Local Regional to Global Regional Local to Regional Local to Regional Local Local Local Time line Scale of destruction
Earth Interior System failure Any time Plate tectonics All the time Mountain Building Cyclic Isostasy Cyclic Earthquakes Earth tremors Subsidence Climatic Change Climatic Oscillations Drought Flood Tornado Blizzard Dust storm Sudden Sudden Sudden Cyclic Cyclic Intermittent Intermittent Intermittent Intermittent Intermittent
Biological evolution Species Extinction Species reduction
Evolutionary Local to Global Evolutionary Local to Global Evolutionary Local to global
Man Induced Cultivation – over cultivation – poor cultivation techniques Industrial – mechanical and chemical waste Construction – settlement – roads – buildings Recreation – lossening of rock, soil and vegetation Animal intrusion – story of elephant and man Man Made Technological – House work related – electric shock, gas explosion, various types of falls (from roof/ from tree/ on steps/ in the bathroom etc.) Traffic flow related Corruption – unpatriotic behaviour Gluttony – not adhering to rule of law/ stealing of biomaterial Madness – sadism Conflict Terrorism War
Level of damage effect on development Country Sri Lanka Nigeria Indonesia Switzerland India China Malaysia Singapore USA UK Israel Geological High High High Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate High Moderate High Man Induced Very high Very high Very high Low Moderate Moderate Low Low Low Low Low Man Made Disastrous Disastrous Disastrous Very Low Moderate Low Low Very Low Very low Very Low Low Effect on economy Very High Very High Very High Very low Moderate Moderate Low Low Very low Very low Very low
Disaster management can be defined as the programme of work designed to organize control over disaster and emergency situations. Further it has to provide a management system for helping people susceptible to disasters and supply them with prior warning, and educate them on possibility of avoiding disaster. Then disaster management is a process, which operates before, during, and after the disaster. Aim of disaster management is to reduce or if possible to avoid human, physical, and economic losses suffered by individuals, society and country. Further, disaster management should aim at reducing personal suffering and help victims to recover as soon as permitted. In case of refugees or displaced persons they should be provided protection and safety. Disaster management therefore is the discipline involved in learning and practising the holistic scientific system of avoiding, limiting and controlling risks. These risks can be natural and societal and pre and post disaster. Therfore total disaster managemnt involves a true scientifc approach with the utilisation of physical, social and management sciences. Primary requirement of disaster management Primary requirement of disaster management is that the operation is based on scientific systems of data collection, analysis, prediction and management. All scientific systems have a set method of operation and disaster will occur, when this set system is disturbed or destroyed, by an internal or external instability. Therefore scientists should be involved at all stage of study, identification, planning and prevention. Management originating from Italian „maneggiare‟ is the act of directing all sectors of an organisation through use, deployment and manipulation of all available resources. Italian word originated in relation to the act of controlling a horse, which is considered to be one of the most difficult tasks in the world. “Maneggiare” refers to manus or hand, indicating full control. French original term „mesnagement‟ and later word „management‟ was utilized in the construction of the English term „management‟. Mangement theorists indicate that management is present only when there is authority, power and leadership. Management is as old as the beginning of organized cultivation and construction, but the organized form of management may have begun in the Sumerian civilisation. Ancient Rajarata civilization of Sri Lanka had a highly developed system of water and human resource management system which enabled it to be successful at times other than massive south Indian invasions. All civilizations
of the past were destroyed by massive outside invasions and even today no nation has any resistance to massive outside invasions which was proven by the Second World War in 1939. Today management has divided it self into two major systems of product oriented and service oriented and has intruded heavily into common life systems through the application of the concept of globalization. At the beginning of the millennium management has become a complex study system with six major branches. Human resource, operations, strategic, marketing, and financial and information technology are considered as these six major branches. However the advanced management systems in countries with advanced and secure societal order are now conducted through human interaction management, which devolves power to the operating system. Similarly, advanced military systems of the world today operate on ubiquitous command and control systems, which carry specific commands as they run to the battlefield expected situations. Therefore management has become an extremely useful system of organization where advanced and secure societal order is present and a useless tool when there is no secure social order. Development of theory and thought on managementbegan with economics . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Management, gives the following historical development to modern management. Adam Smith (1723 - 1790), John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873) Eli Whitney (1765 - 1825), James Watt (1736 - 1819), Matthew Boulton (1728 - 1809) and Léon Walras (1834 - 1910) were the economists who contributed to the beginning of modern management. Joseph Wharton offered the first tertiary-level course in management in 1881. Henry Towne's Science of management in the 1890s, Frederick Winslow Taylor's Scientific management (1911), Frank and Lillian Gilbreth's Applied motion study (1917), and Henry L. Gantt's charts (1910s) developed management as a discipline. J. Duncan wrote the first college management textbook in 1911. In 1912 Yoichi Ueno introduced Taylorism to Japan and became first management consultant of the "Japanese-management style". His son Ichiro Ueno pioneered Japanese quality-assurance.The first comprehensive theories of management appeared around 1920. People like Henri Fayol (1841 - 1925) and Alexander Church described the various branches of management and their inter-relationships. In the early 20th century, people like Ordway Tead (1891 - 1973), Walter Scott and J. Mooney applied the principles of psychology to management, while other writers, such as Elton Mayo (1880 - 1949), Mary Parker Follett (1868 - 1933), Chester Barnard (1886 - 1961), Max
Weber (1864 - 1920), Rensis Likert (1903 - 1981), and Chris Argyris (1923 - ) approached the phenomenon of management from a sociological perspective. Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005) wrote one of the earliest books on applied management: Concept of the Corporation (published in 1946). It resulted from Alfred Sloan (chairman of General Motors until 1956) commissioning a study of the organisation. Drucker went on to write 39 books, many in the same vein. H. Dodge, Ronald Fisher (1890 - 1962), and Thornton C. Fry introduced statistical techniques into management-studies. In the 1940s, Patrick Blackett combined these statistical theories with microeconomic theory and gave birth to the science of operations research. Operations research, sometimes known as "management science", attempts to take a scientific approach to solving management problems, particularly in the areas of logistics and operations. The science of disaster management therfore straddle on all avialable scientific areas of study and utilse the knowledge required for disaster control withn the sphere of environmental management. Therfore environmental management, environmental change and new strands of culture have to be placed within the study of disaster mangement. Environmental management and disaster Modern scientific environmental management treats environment as a multi faceted resource with enormous capacity to provide many types of items from a single unit of the resource. Here the resource is blended in to the systems of economic development, where each and every product can acquire a value. For example, a tree was treated as sources of wood or crop or a unit in the protection of water source in the old system of environmental management system. Today a tree is part of a harvest system which produces wood, wood chips, compost raw material, preserve water and soil. Then a tree is treated as an object to interfere with and looked after according to the principles of forest harvesting. Within the technology of forest harvesting tree is checked for disease regularly, cleaned to avoid fungi formation, broken or damaged parts or branches of the tree (by wind, rain and animal action) are removed and cut at the prime maturity level to obtain the best wood or wood chips for paper industry. In addition concepts of environmental change and change of environment are also considered as important in the study of new environmental management. Environmental change is the process of changing environment through human activities with the use of technology, social and political ideology. For example the ancient
civilisation of Sri Lanka was based on the concept of irrigation and a strong monarchical rule, which arranged the environment to suit the sustainability of a hydraulic civilisation. Since the arrival of western colonists, the environment of Sri Lanka was changed to suit the cultivation of tree crops and spices. We are still in this environment and have begun to introduce an unplanned urban and rural settlement expansion. Therefore our environment is becoming more and more polluted, dangerous and chaotic to live. Change of environment is the change of living environment by migration for the purpose of living and economic activity. Migration to farm settlements, urban areas and emigration results in change of environment. Again if these activities are not planned properly, the new environment is subjected to pollution, becoming dangerous and chaotic to live. When emigration is not conducted in a proper manner the emigrants are subjected to many legal and social difficulties. The holistic view of environment is utilised in the new concept of environmental management, where value of economic activity is weighed on the basis of its long-term sustainability within the environment. Therefore the new concept is constantly linked to agriculture, industry, investment, monetary policy, livelihoods and economic planning. This enables the environment manager to begin at the point of investment and end at sustainable control (Figure 1.1).
Figure 1.1, Flow of activity of the new environmental management system
Investment programme Environmental–natural and societal resources with Sustainability
Scientific decision making
Economic, social and institutional policies
Government agencies and other resources users
The sustainable control has to be applied at all levels of disaster management to achieve the desired development objectives. Resource management has to be conducted within good governance and decentralization of power. The disaster is a highly localized occurrence other than for the uncontrollable disasters like Asian Mega Tsunami, Category Five Hurricane Katrina, Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor Meltdown or war. The developing countries have highly inefficient public service system mainly due to lack of decentralization and the slow response to disaster is mainly a result of lack of decentralization of observation, research and control. For example universities of Sri Lanka are rarely used in settlement planning or environmental planning and about 90 percent of the disasters occur due to this isolation of research from reality. The following statement made by an expert in a discussion on housing policy reveals the poor coordination between public service and research in Sri Lanka. This discussion was held to discuss the vulnerability of housing to floods and landslides which made about 60 billion rupees in October – November, 2006. “There are many academic research and papers published, but in reality we have to look into the situation we are in” (comment by a high ranking public servant) the above statement is a normal stereo type comment of a public servant in the developing world where most of them and the politicians believe that development should not be based on scientific theory, but on their socio-political programme, but the reality is environment operates on a truly scientific basis and any unscientific act conducted by human beings will be rejected and destroyed by environment. Concept of Disaster Management The disaster management inquires the vulnerability of populations to environmental change and resultant disaster scenarios. Environmental change is created both by natural changes in the geo-sphere and man-environment interactions. Developed countries have well understood the nature of disaster and conduct activities required to control and limit the effect of them within the scientific knowledge available to them. Therefore they have the ability to reduce loss of life and limit property damage during disaster. However, this type of systematic approach is not established in the developing countries where disaster management is activated only during the time of disaster and its immediate
aftermath and the suffering of people and reconstruction of property is not conducted in a planned way. Therefore, disaster management in the developing countries cannot be truly discussed within the established concepts of the developed world. Environmental Change and disaster Environmental change is the process of change of the nature and dynamics of space and place. The concept of environmental change emerged from the studies on changing nature of earth systems, like green house gases, ozone depletion, soil erosion, desertification and emergence of new diseases. The geological forces of the environment create changes in the physical environment and form various types of hazards. Society change space and place through many types of consumption systems from cultivation to recreation and in the present civilisation, culture has become the primary force behind change of natural space and place. Human activities utilise culture to develop space and place and in doing so create a constant competition for places (Sack, 1999). Therefore we can assume that, natural disaster is created or formed when there is a crisis between nature of place and culture, and the societal disaster is formed when there is a conflict between the established forms of culture and new or emerging strands of culture. The historical transformation of human behaviour is recognised as one of the most important factors in the construction of many social responses to environment and concept of disaster. The human response to environmental change and disaster is conducted through either adaptation or avoidance. However, total adaptation is not possible and avoidance is extremely expensive. Since 1960s the place of environmental change has become one of the most important approaches in the study of environment. The global plate tectonics and study of Quarternary history has changed our understanding to be more scientific and now all global environmental problems can be addressed through the utilisation of this concept (Slaymaker and Spencer, 1998). New strands of culture and disaster Ethnic identity, feminist thinking and human rights has also introduced many new social perspectives on disaster. These are more important in the developing world where there is a deeper connection between environment and social groups based on ethnicity, women play a more crucial role in the survival of family and human rights are constantly violated. For example in Sri
Lanka, the social group associated with the coast, where fishing is the major occupation is stricken with poverty due to high level of hazardous nature in their occupation. In the tea plantations the work force most exposed to continuous wetness (as they walk among the dew filled tea bushes) is women and respiratory ailments are more common among them. Most of the poor live in marginal areas and when they are faced with hazards, relief and compensation is not provided on a free and fare basis, because of inefficiency and mismanagement on in the public and private sector organisations in Sri Lanka. However the fishermen and farmers in the developed world are not poor and are less exposed to disaster, basically due to existence of a developed social security system, which warn of an incoming hazard and provide proper relief when a disaster occurs. Then it is clear that the social organisation is of paramount importance in the study, preparation and recovery from disaster. Ethnic Identity and disaster Ethnic identity is primarily based on culture and cultural identity can be defined simply as “the way people live in accordance to beliefs, language, history, or the way they dress”. These thoughts may develop psoitive or negative ideologies and when there is conflict of beliefs, some groups of people will take arms. This has happened since man has managed to establish communal living. Toaday, identity is sued for many purposes and in poor and developing nations it has become a major factor for dissent among communities. The result of this dissent is the formation of terrorist groups. Today there are about 50 internationally operation terrorist group who fight a disastrous battle with many democratically elected governments, western civilisation and another ethnic group. Therefore terrorism has become the most frequent disaster in the world which record an average of 20 deaths and 200 injured. Trauma, famine, malnutrition and continued hatred between communities resulting from these conflicts result in genocide where thousands are killed. The only way available to live freely with ethnic identity is to follow the basic democratic way of life, but the behaviour of many governments and communities in the developing world have proven that some human beings have no regard for a democratic way of life and problem solving. Most analysts believe that it is the socio-political corruption which allows identity to be used in conflict and the countries like Singapore (now a developed country) and Malaysia (rapidly becoming developed) show that
reduction of socio-political corruption can reduce conflicts associated with ethnic identity. Gender and disaster Gender and feminist thinking has to be discussed as a factor in disaster management as women are the most important part in constructing social space as they rare children and guide their thinking pattern. In addition women have begun to contribute heavily to family income in the globalised economic system. This has exposed women to disasters which have not affected them before and resulted in the change of the cultural foundations of family. This change of cultural foundation has increased the amount of personal disasters related to suicides, drugs and sexually transmitted diseases. Globalised economy has constructed a media which has begun transmitting complex cultural values to traditional societies of the developed world creating culture clash between the international culture and local culture. This type of activities have sometimes lead to crisis in gender by exposing women of the traditional developing societies to concepts of free living of the developed world. Human rights and disaster Understanding of human rights is essential to the study of disaster, because one of the primary aims of disaster management is to save life and property from undue impact of societal hazards. The effect of bad governance, corruption and anarchy affect the rights of people to live in peace and develop their community. The establishment of human rights is aimed at controlling these antisocial activities and allow people to represent their right to free and fair justice. Therefore, human rights and disaster management has a simple and direct relationship between them in saving lives and property. Disaster management –origin and evolution Disaster management originated from risk management and the study of disaster is presented in this book under identification of patterns and trends of disaster, pre and post disaster management and short-term and long-term predictability of disaster. This study makes no differentiation between disasters originating from natural and societal causes and attempt to pay more attention to disasters originating from man-environmental interaction in the developing world where scientific environmental planning is at an infantile stage. This type of approach is required in the developing world situation where disaster management is not properly organised and pre-disaster planning is almost non-existent.
The history of impact of disaster is noted since the beginning of organised agriculture and living in a defined environment. It is because the effect of any disaster is felt and society feels injured or damaged more when people have a definite place to live. Modern study on disasters began through the study of natural hazards in the middle part of twentieth century within the domain of physical geographers. Natural hazards were discussed in geology, engineering and agricultural sciences within the topics of geological evolution (Hutton, 1937 and Strahler and Strahler, 1976). Gilbert White (1936 and 1945) and Smith (2001) produced the social perspective to the study of natural hazards. Geographers led the hazard based approach and sociologists were using a disaster based approach (Mileti et al, 1995). 1973-74 killer drought of the Sahel brought about a new thinking on hazards and the effect of drought, disastrous cyclones and earthquakes in the decade of 1970 brought awareness on natural hazards to world organisations. White (1974), White and Hass (1975) and Burton (1978) were primarily responsible for the development of thought on natural hazards. The studies conducted by the author from 1974 to 2005 in Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Nigeria and Norway, on the effect of climatic change and migration in Sahel, climatic change and social destabilisation in Sri Lanka and hazard preparedness in Sri Lanka is also used in the formation of this presentation. The above studies were conducted using the primary methodology of White (1974). The rapid rise in population in the developing world between 1970 and 1980 made the impact of disasters originating from natural hazards more exposed to the global academic and research community. Introduction of personal computers and formation of Internet made the exchange of information a norm in the study of sciences. The rapidly rising population in the developing world is settled in marginal land where impact of disasters is felt more and number of deaths and injured have increased to alarming heights. The death toll from 1973-74 Sahel drought were in the millions, most of the dead in the 1970 Bangladesh cyclone were poor living on the beach front, majority of the 1976 China earthquake victims were living in mud houses. By 1980s hazards were also making an impact in Europe and USA where high living standards were a norm. This trend continued into 1980s and terrorism and rogue states became places of killing grounds of many innocent people in cross fire. Between 1 and 2 million non-active population were killed and wounded between 1980 and 2000 by acts of terrorism. The rise of religious fundamentalism added another dimension to hazards
studies. The study of hazards became the domain of all types of scientists and institutions. The UN began the formation of disaster response teams (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR) and USA established FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). Soon all the developed countries joined USA with the establishment of their own national and some times regional disaster response organisations. The 2004 December 26th South Asian Mega Tsunami, brought a completely a new dimension to disaster originating from natural hazards due to exposure of vulnerability of unplanned and unprotected coastal settlements. The emergence of new diseases and their rapid spread added another dimension to hazards studies. Impact of Influenza epidemics, Malaria, Polio, HIV Aids, Ibola fever, Avian Flu on populations of the developing world made the developed world to wonder about the destructive power of disease in a globalised world. The fast aeroplanes and easy immigration laws in the 1990s increased the risk of spread of communicable diseases in the developed world. Reports of Malaria in and around the airports of the developed countries and suspicion of transportation of animal disease viruses by dust laden wind from the desertification of Sahel, brought another important perspective to the study of hazards and disasters. System of disaster management is conducted by three major organisational systems Institutional system of disaster management - bureaucratic organisation Business system of disaster management – service industry Grass root/ Participatory systems of disaster management Institutional system of disaster management – bureaucratic organisation This system is operated through the offices of the government and its auxiliary services. For example the largest single organisation of disaster management of the world is present in USA where all sectors from President to local philanthropic organisations are linked into one. Business system of disaster management – service industry Business system of hazard management is a multimillion-dollar service industry, which supports the institutional and grass root/ participatory systems of disaster management through specialised services and equipment.
Grass root/ Participatory systems of disaster management – This is the oldest system of hazard management which relies on traditional and local self-help systems, supported by religious and traditional threads of society. Disaster in changing global environment By the time we entered the latter half of the 20th century society has become an extremely powerful force, affecting nature and its dynamics leading to chaotic behaviour of natural things. In addition society was changing so rapidly a crisis was formed between the established norms and ethics. This change of living environment became a great challenge to science and other belief systems of the society. Most of the population of the world live on flood plains and coastal lowlands. Alaskan Tsunami, Hurricane Andrew and Northridge earthquake in USA, Kobe earthquake in Japan and the south Asian Tsunami of 2004, showed the depth of vulnerability of human population to disasters associated with natural environment. Poverty and ethnic cleansing in Africa, globalised terrorism and gluttony of the elite in developing countries have become more disastrous than the natural environmental disasters causing massive loss of wealth. The emergence of management science led to the formation of many types of management systems, which were capable of providing answers to disaster management. Environment also became a focus of management as the demand for natural resources have risen to unimaginable heights. The experiments conducted in countries like Switzerland, which utilised its knowledge on snow and ice became a leader in disaster management through conducting search and rescue which enabled them to save many more lives than before. The methodology and technique used in these disaster control helped their industry to produce special equipment which brought them valuable foreign exchange and fame. This type of thinking led to the idea that disasters can be managed and the loss of property and life can be minimised with the use of scientific management. The production of special listening and photo devices which will warn of landslides, mud flows, tsunamis, planning an explosion by terrorists, nuclear disaster, anti-collision- systems for air planes, side impact resistant systems for cars today save many hundreds of people who would have been killed otherwise. One of the best examples of disaster planning came from 9/11 disaster where the inclusion of the possibility of air craft collision with the World Trade Centre Towers in New York. This inclusion
of the factor of aircraft collision in the design resulted in the saving of about 3000 lives within and around the building as the buildings stood for many minutes before their final collapse. And when even they collapsed they collapsed in a vertical way down preventing any lateral damage. Most of the earthquake victims in the developing world die of lateral fall of weakly constructed walls of the buildings with more than one floor. It is estimated that between January 2000 and December 2005, about 25 to 30 billion US dollars of property damage was prevented and 3000 lives were saved through the application of hazard management techniques in USA. The best story comes from the south Asian Tsunami of December 2004, in which a schoolteacher from Eastern Sri Lanka saved about 40 people from drowning, because he read about the warning signs of Tsunami (that water recedes before the onslaught of the big Tsunami wave) in a journal article about 4 years before the day of the Tsunami.
Every disaster has a level to which it can be managed and today most of the societies have access to these systems of management and it is the intention of this book to provide a very simple insight in to the
Chapter 2 Disaster Management Systems In this book disaster management systems are studied in relation to developing world status where there is no organized system of disaster management other than in well established multi-national businesses. Disaster is an event which is extremely difficult to study and analyse by conventional scientific means as the scientists themselves may be at risk from disaster, disaster data base is generally unreliable and there is a vast difference in the data produced by different agencies. Therefore most of the time disaster management becomes an activity, which requires additional resources, which cannot be comprehended at the time of preplanning. This is why all systems of disaster management have one or many back-up systems in their operational system. Development of disaster management systems Disaster was looked upon as nature‟s will or god‟s will by the early inhabitants, and they prayed and demanded protection from disaster. This practice is conducted even today in the developing countries by countless millions as the public institutions are incapable of protecting the masses from most of the disasters. For example listening to the prayer at the shrine will teach you that all the deities can protect you from all the disasters except the disasters generated by „the forces of the sun and wind‟. This may be explained as deities cannot protect someone from geological forces, which originate from the basic processes of sun and the wind. Then deities can protect you only from the disastrous forces originating from societal systems. The early civilizations managed to utilize both physical and human planning systems to combat disaster. Embankments, ditches and walls were used in the early civilizations of China, Egypt and Mesapotamia. Settlement based environmental planning system was used in the Rajarata civilization of Sri Lanka, which enabled the maximum utilization of available resources of a dry zone environment. (Read CS 1). (CS 1 / Gama and Weva (Gama Kalamanakarana kramaya – gamparisara) Settlement planning system of environmental Management: A time tested programme for areas with seasonal drought. (In an earlier documentation this was termed Tank Cascade System, Seneviratne, 2006)
( the term Weva is used in the following presentation as tank is not suitable for the reservoir which was constructed not only to store water, but to fulfil many other requirements of the area which it is situated) Gama saha Weva system of environmental management is one of the best sustainable solutions to seasonal drought, which is practised today in a more modernised form in many developed countries for irrigation, power generation and urban water supply. This system is capable of providing a system, which is universally acceptable in environmental management. The system practised in Sri Lanka during the period of ancient civilisation was designed to fulfil the following requirements. Collect high runoff from the catchments where rocky ridges and hardpan latosols resulted in high rate of runoff during thunderstorms and depressional rain. Both rocky ridges and hardpan latosols have low infiltration and very low percolation capacity. An experiment conducted in Mihinthale area between October 2005 and May 2006 revealed that between 80 to 90 percent of the runoff from the two 2 sample sites (forest cover and cultivated) were released into the streams or interfluve clay pans. Stabilise the surface ground water flow in the catchment to support a system composed of forest, shrub, grassland, village, tank and cultivated areas. The experiment indicates that the stabilisation is present in the areas with more than 60 percent forest cover. Field surveys revel that most of the ratios are between 1: 0.6: 0.2 and 1: 0.5: 0.5. The ratio between forest and shrub forest (supplied household requirements of firewood, medicinal products and construction material) was highly controlled and stable. Higher ratios between forest and shrub forest were found in the catchments with higher spring levels indicating that the areas with higher spring levels were conserved more strictly than the other areas. It is the theory of micro-drainage which was put to use by this system. The first order weva (Kulu Weva) were followed by the second order weva (Kuda weva) and the third order weva (Maha Weva) were the last in the system though many complex patterns are present within the weva hierarchy. There is a relationship between the weva order and stream order as the experiment indicated. The first order weva were constructed on the 4 th or higher order (Strahler, 1967) streams at the field mapping level. Most of these appear as 1st or 2nd order streams in Aerial Photos and mostly as 1st order in 1:50,000 topographic sheets. These 1st
order streams increase their dimension to 5th or sometimes 6th order after a total rainfall of 200 millimetres during the rainy season. The geomorphology of the area contributes to this increase through two major factors identified in the Rassagala and Bulankulama micro catchments. Firstly, the slopes of the upper catchments of Kulu Weva on the Erosional plains of the North Central Plains have upper catchment slopes between 1:100 and 1:300. These slopes are quickly saturated under high intensity thunderstorm rain as the thin organic soil is underlain by a thick latosol layer which is not very permeable. Rainfall intensities over 6o millimetres/hr, which are common in the thunderstorms of the area during the first rains in October start the flow of water to the 1st order streams and low slope angle constructs many winding 1st order streams through the leaf litter. The experiment conducted produced following data from the Rassagla catchment. Table 2.1 Development of ephemeral streams and rainfall
Site 1 Ground cover Rainfall Stream order Rassagla 1 Rassagla 1 Rassagla 1 Rassagla 1 Shrub forest Shrub forest Shrub forest Shrub forest 0 80 200 300 1 2 5 6
Table 2.1 Development of ephemeral streams and rainfall
Site 2 Ground cover Rainfall Stream order * Rassagla 2 Rassagla 2 Rassagla 2 Teak Plantation Teak Plantation Teak Plantation 0 80 200 1 2 2
* uneven surface produced by land preparation results in heavy ponding and reduces the out flow to streams. In total about 40 to 60 percent of the water in the teak plantation are converging into these pools and evaporate. Data (table 2.1 and 2.2) indicate that the undisturbed shrub forest absorb a large quantity of water to the limit of about 80 millimetres, before starting the stream flow, but the streams in the teak plantation area cannot flow properly as disturbed micro-slopes construct pools on the surface. The 1st and 2nd order streams in this identification are truly ephemeral unless fed by an artificial source
like wastewater from a settlement or cultivated land. The 3 rd and 4th order streams flow between 1 to 3 days after rain from middle of November to mid January. The system is not always simple and there were complex construction systems to handle local situations, which demanded special techniques. These local situations arose from the variations of rock type, soil cover, slope and land use. The experiment showed that micro-slopes were responsible for loss of water to the stream and to weva. The average slope in most of the cascades is in the region of 1:10,000 to 1:25,000, where a slight variation in slope will result in accumulation of water in the micro-basin type formations on latosols. During the experiment it was clear that a rise of slope by 2 to 3 inches locally would lead to heavy blockage of water flow to the stream. Then it was paramount that the settlement, cropland, shrub land and forest were kept in pristine condition. The most important disturbance to the regular flow of water into the stream system generally originates from human activities. Firstly, the settlement in this system was located in a high ground besides the weva or cultivated area. This prevented wastewater, seepage of sewage residue and animal waste and other types of solid and liquid waste entering weva. Further the location allowed the settlement to direct its wastewater into some type of wastewater pond, which was used as a recycling unit. Nonexistence of chemical waste may have allowed these ponds to be non-toxic and some types of plants and fish may have been used in this organic recycling or cleaning system. There is evidence that craft industries like iron, silver and paint production were situated in special locations where waste water was treated before discharge into canal or ela. Secondly, though it is not very clear, inscriptions and designs of the sacred and built up areas of the ancient civilisation support an existence of a highly developed hydrological management system. The wastage of water was controlled with heavy legal and communal commands and user-friendly system was maintained. Rocky ridges were not utilised for settlements and they were either fully conserved or kept in the custody of monks, who managed the area in pristine condition. The experiment conducted on these areas indicate that the rock ridges under the care of monks had about 4 to 6 times more springs than the areas closer to other types of settlements. The specific purpose of the shrub, forest and the upper catchment of weva were defined by law and tradition and the law breakers were punished.
This system was capable of maintaining a population of about 5 million 8 million between the period of 100 and 1100 AD, when the civilisation was in full bloom. National plan for the civilisation was in operation with periods of rapid and slow phases of weva building, resettlement in the peripheries and inter-basin water transfer (Paranavitane, 1959). Today the total disregard for the Gama saha Weva system originate from the public sector planning of settlements (including Resettlement programme since 1930), construction of roads and railways, establishment of forest plantations, construction of large government and private sector institutions, waste dumping and land fill since independence. These activities have increased the regular blockage of 1 st, 2nd and 3rd order streams in the area, destroyed some of them totally and redirected water to local depressions where they accumulate and evaporate, thus seriously starving the 1st order weva system. It is clear that the present civilisation of the wet zone has never managed to understand the principle of environmental management of the ancient civilisation though rhetoric is evident in all types of utterances and unscientific publications. It is time that we attempt to understand that it is not only the existence of the Gama saha Weva system which made possible for the development of the dry zone civilisation, but the hydrological management system in operation through various royal instructions and laws, which defined the terms of water conservation and water use. Existence of officials like dolosmaha-vatan, va-vajarama, vel-kami and compensation paid for loss due to royal order clearly indicate this existence of an efficient management system. If the orders of the palace were not conducted properly the officials responsible were punished. Then it is clear that this system of management was user friendly, community oriented, but strictly legal and orderly (Paranvitane, 1959). The king himself was well educated on his duties and was under the guidance of council of ministers and high dignitaries. We must understand the value of drainage and hydrological management if we are to solve the major problem in Sri Lanka and prevent the destruction caused to regular flow of streams in the dry zone during the wet season. The present planning system or the legal system is not built on this type of regularisation and today we are forced to depend on inter-basin water transfer. However, it is clear that we are even unable to maintain a well operational interbasin water transfer system at present due to poor upper watershed management. There is chaos in the drought control system and it is high time we understand that this problem can be solved only through a well-managed scientific system and not by just feeding the area with water from somewhere as we do today.
The management of environmental hazards require a holistic approach, where the physical hazards are controlled through technical expertise and the societal organisation required for the stabilisation of environment is to be conducted through the implementation of laws and regulations and development of positive attitudes. Therefore, environmental hazards management programme requires the support of an organisational framework with knowledge and authority if it is to support the survival of humanity.) The construction of the Imperial Canal in China (to divert excess water of the south to the North), Great Wall (to stop the invasions of Mongols), Levees along Nile and Euphrates (to control flooding) are more than 2000 years old. CS 1 indicate that the use of a planned settlement with a surrounding shrub and forest supported by a detailed system of laws and regulations have reduce drought and flood disaster to a minimum in the ancient Rajarata Civilisation of Sri Lanka. The scientific development in modernization led to the formation of capabilities in disaster control in the developed world. European systems of Swiss and north European regions managed to install a mix system of engineering and agronomic measures with strict adherence to law and regulations. These states succeeded in controlling many disasters in their domains with the use of this mix of systems and today they are taken as examples where disaster impact is reduced to a minimum in the world. USA with its extremely rapid development began detailed studies on the impact of disaster and with the use of river basin development model believed in the engineering systems and engaged in the development of technology required for the future. However the Dust Bowl disaster in the early 1900 led USA a rethink the strategies of disaster control and the scientist began to adopt a more ecological view (Burrows, 1920). 1936 the US Congress passed the bill on Flood Control Act and construction systems were favoured by the disaster managers. White (1945) indicated the importance of management infused into construction as a better methodology in management of disasters and favoured a behavioural approach. His much used questionnaire on natural hazard provided a basis for digitization of data on environment based on percentage values. Hewitt (1983) indicates that this approach is characterized by three major approaches in disaster management. 1. 2. application of scientific knowledge in disaster management use physical and human control measures where necessary
use of armed forces in the emergency response
This is still the dominant view in disaster management but this approach is continually re-organised through the application of more society oriented methods. By mid 1970s an alternative approach to disaster management was installed through inclusion of role played by individual action. The arrival of this approach was necessary because there was a massive increase in disasters in the developing world which were not truly of physical origin. Developing countries have faced many hazards because they have unplanned settlements and local knowledge is not used in public programmes of disaster mitigation. Further the effect of disaster is felt more in the developing world because of the inability of their public institutions to organize long term programmes as they have alienated the local knowledge, use of scientists in the field and grassroots knowledge in disaster management. The behavioural approach has failed in the developing world because the corruption in the governance has led to non-adherence to scientific method of utilisation of resources of the natural environment. Most of the world organizations and funding authorities have indicated that inability to install economic and environmental sustainability in the developing world is a case of this public sector mismangement and disasters are intensified due to this mismanagement. For example the massive damages occurred in the 2003 Rathnapura floods and 2006 OctoberNovember rainy season in Sri Lanka, is due to construction on stream reserves and not listening to scientific advice both by the populace and institutions. The structuralist aim to use poverty alleviation and a community based disaster management, which again is made difficult due to corrupt local and regional organizations, which have no place for scientific evaluation. The future of disaster management is well organized in the developed world with the use of scientific method and local participation. The story of disaster management in developing countries is in a state of flux which has not found its direction mainly due to corruption in the institutional and local management systems. Therefore future looks bleak for the developing world as disasters emanating from climatic change; increased geological activity and societal crisis will increase rapidly in the next 25 to 50 years. This is the case of Sri Lanka where the public sector is yet to install a working disaster management system in the country, though it has a fairly good relief provision system. The people talk of „flood vehicles‟, tsunami houses‟ and „landslide cars‟ in reference to vehicles bought and houses build by many categories
of workers of the public and private sector, through engaging in corrupt practices during relief work related to disaster. The behavioural approach has failed in the developing countries and they are yet to find a solution to disaster management. Today most of the developing countries operate a wait and relief system. This is an excessively expensive system where cost of compensation and rebuilding affects not only the merger financial resources of the public organizations, but sudden redirection of funding results in a loss to the regional and sometimes national economy. Further, the trauma of the incident will continue in the affected well beyond the physical relief and rehabilitation and poverty is increased of the affected. For example listening to the stories of affected of 2003 Kalu, Gin and Nilwala floods and landslide disasters in Sri Lanka reveals the misery of the affected, where most of the affected have many complaints of not receiving proper relief and aid until 2006. Some of the foot bridges in the rural areas destroyed by the floods are yet to be rebuilt making their daily journeys seriously hazardous, the housing reconstruction is not properly managed and the roads are not properly repaired. The trauma of loss of family member and disability caused by serious injury lingers on. The structural paradigm (Emel and Peet, 1989) was in existence in the developing countries during the times of early civilization. For example in Sri Lanka, the monarchial system of governance had a disaster management system based on settlement planning as indicated above under the topic CS 1 / Gama and Weva. The early civilization has faced many serious droughts and famine as given in Mahawamsa. The weva cascade system was the first line of defense against drought and famine and when it failed in a continuing drought of more than three years the civilization could not adjust within it domains and the system of disaster management guided the king to expand into new areas of settlement. Sometimes, the disaster has led to abandonment of some of the frontier regions and populace was accommodated in refugee camps in the nearest available area which was not affected by drought or flood. Massive floods were rare under peaceful conditions but at times of war, the purposeful destruction of wev bunds have resulted in disastrous floods. The technology used in the construction of weva and weirs (amuna) indicate that there was pre planning for heavy floods which occur in intervals of 10, 20, 50 and 100 years. The 1957 floods indicate that most of the medium sized weva is not capable of controlling 50 year and 100 flood. This is why the location of settlement was properly planned with an aim of reducing damage to a minimum. The dearth of records on massive disasters during the times of ancient kingdom in many records kept is due to the reason that the environment and
disasters were properly managed in it, specially through the construction of the settlement away from the most possible disaster. The environment – man relationship was maintained through a strict enforcement of law, which prevented continuity of disasters and reduced the human and capital cost to the economy. The following evidences from the inscriptions and pronouncements indicate the strength of the belief which prevailed in a highly organized like in a developed world of modern times, which controls the environment-man interface through strict environment systems. The following abstracts found and provided by Lagamuwa, (2007), Head of Department, Humanities, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka indicate the management system of the ancient kingdom of Rajarata. Total environment: with reference to the environment in and around the settlement “In every settlement it is prohibited to cut timber, kill animals, erect new construction and pollute water within a circumference of 60 feet. It is designated as an intermediate zone between the settlement and forest” The value of above imposition was to keep a stable organic environment with a balance of living beings (which is not kept today). This was possible as the settlement of the kingdom was designed and structured in association with the environment. Similar environmental laws are in force in the highly developed western world and in countries like Malaysia and Singapore where all human acts including planning of settlement is also conducted according to strict environmental requirements. “ in the 3rd century BC, it was prohibited to slaughter animals within a circumference of 25 miles of Anuradhapura city ” “In 12 th century AD, it was prohibited to slaughter animals, fishing and cut timber within a circumference of 35 kilometers of Polonnaruwa city ” the above two edicts were aimed at preventing water pollution, spread of disease and securing a religious environment. The following of above edicts were possible because there was an advanced level of environmental planning in the system of governance.
The breaking of environmental law and edicts demanded heavy punishment. The illegal felling of trees was punished by hard labour related to tank building and restoration. These actions were punishable by a fine or manual work. “ illegal cutting of trees were punished by a fine or cutting and repairing an area equal to about 48 cubic meters of weva”. Mihinthale Pillar Inscription, King Mihindu IV. “ the palm, coconut, tamarind and Mee trees on Mihinthala hill should not be cut or removed. The persons including the royal servants who break this law should be punished by a fine and the income collected should be given to the temple” Mihinthala Pillar Inscription, King Sena II, AD 853-887. The technology of water management was the core of the success of the kingdom. “ The sluice of Tissa weva should be closed nine days after harvest in the fields of Isurumuniya and allow it to fill again. Then the remaining water can be released first to the temple and surrounding area and any excess water should be released to Malwathu Ela. In addition the land belonging to the temple should not be taken over by anyone.” Wessagiriya Inscription, Mihindu IV, 956-973. “ 2 Aka (an older currency) was fined for flooding of paddy fields (over use of water), before ploughing (there was a set standard for ploughing). If ploughing was not done correctly the person at fault was fined with one Kalang of gold. If the ploughing was not done as prescribed the person at fault was fined 5 kalangs of gold.” ( the detailed activities, edicts and laws are given in Appendix 1 in Sinhala) The modern structualist view is practiced in most of the developed countries where there is free and fair access to information and governance is people friendly. The scientific research and information dissemination is at a very high level of development in these regions where people are continually consulted and informed about disaster vulnerability in an environment where physical and societal change has become a common affair. However the complexities arising from lack of technology and inefficient public service system in the developing countries result in poor usage of the structuralist paradigm. These countries have to depend on developed countries for their methods and techniques of disaster management as socio-political corruption in them have prevented them being capable of development of technology and methodology of disaster management. This increase in hazard
vulnerability in the third world has been noted by Torry (1979) and Susman et al (1983). Poverty, technical change, technical dependency and unequal trade arrangements were given as reason by above authors for the existing high vulnerability of third world population. Sen (2000) identifies lack of freedom from global and local market forces as a primary reason form underdevelopment and hunger and indicates disaster risk in the developing countries is much higher than in developed countries. Behavioural approach provides a framework for practical hazard control while structuralist approach attempts to reduce the risk of disaster through control of poverty. Then the best disaster control has to be conducted in a way that there is a fusion between the two approaches, which will facilitate the reduction of effect of factors responsible for disaster and through use of technology. However, in the developing world countries where there is high rate of sociopolitical corruption, disregard for scientific approach and neglect of local knowledge, disasters continue to increase the damage to life and property. This neglect and nonchalance has resulted in excessive trauma and suffering of the populace during after disaster situations. It is estimated by UN and related agencies that about an average of 10,000 people die and property worth of 300 to 600 billion US dollars are damaged in the developing world. However, experts on disaster management believe that the loss of life may be about a thousand to two thousand and property damage will be about 30 to 50 billion US Dollars if proper disaster management is utilized in these countries. A recent field visit to a landslide site at Paradeka, Central province, Sri Lanka revealed that the people who were killed in the slide were watching the debris clearance from an unsafe distance (environmental illiteracy). Steep retaining angle kept by road construction (not adhering to scientific data) and disregard for dip of rock in stabilizing the slope (not utilizing scientific data) were the major reasons for slump type falls along the road under construction. It is clear that the study of theory of disaster management systems is not relevant in the planning systems developing countries and in Sri Lanka, but the aim of the above discussion is to provide the available information on approaches to disaster management. Present system of disaster management in the developing countries depends on institutional help, when necessary, but most of the time the loss of life and property damage is not fully supported by them. After an initial period of help and relief the institutional system fade away and the victims have to depend on their local or relative help systems to see an end to their suffering. Recently the involvement of NGO‟s have eased the sufferings of many as major international support programmes are reluctant to fund public
systems in the developing countries as these public systems have visible high levels of corruption. The case of Tsunami funding in all the countries in Asia except for Malaysia and Singapore are questioned by international auditing organizations, and even after almost two years after the Tsunami most of the people are dissatisfied on the support they have received. In the case of Tsunami it should be remembered that about 25 percent of the pledges made by the developed countries are yet to materialize into action. Then it is not incorrect to say that the disaster management system of the developing world and in Sri Lanka is in a state of confusion, which has resulted in a high impact on the general economy leading to poverty of nations, regions, localities and persons.
System of disaster management is conducted by three major organisational systems Institutional system of disaster management - bureaucratic organisation Business system of disaster management – service industry Grass root/ Participatory systems of disaster management –
It indicates the value of basic research, which leads to minimise the loss of life. In the last 20 years USA (government and people) lost about 2000 billion dollars worth of property due to natural environmental and societal environmental disasters and the loss of life is estimated to be 15200 (excluding traffic accidents). This is due to continuous research and adhering to a scientific settlement planning and warning system on disasters. Work schedule of the US Disaster Management Control System Study/Research The basic research on disaster management is conducted by the University system and technical research centres and these results are fed into the national research centres and warning centres. University research scientists and people also head the national research centres with research degrees in their respective fields. Monitoring/Warning Data for monitoring and warning is gathered by all research organisations and analysed with the help of specialists in the field who are the University research scientists. When a hazard is predicted the state authorities take over the warning system
through national television, radio network and Internet. Police will travel around the most vulnerable areas warning people of the locality. If the hazard is of national nature (the control of 9/11 World Trade centre Attack) the office of the president will control it through FEMA (Figure 2.1) and special security services like FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), CIA (Central Intelligence Authority), NSO (National Security Organisation).
Figure 2.1FEDERAL (USA)
Home Land Security Cabinet Member FEMA N.H.C U.S.G.S NOAA N.W.C PTWC
University Research Centres Technical Research Centres P.T.W.C
Nation US Ar
National and State Media Warning System
Police Fire Emergency Volunteers NGO‟s Philanthrop Sp
N.H.C - National Hurricane Centre PTWC – Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre U.S.G.S – United States Geological Service NOAA - North American Atmospheric Authority N.W.C – National Weather Centre Normally conducted by the state authorities, but federal help is always available. FEMA keeps a massive storage of food, water and medical supplies in stock away from hazard zone and deliver when required. Rehabilitation and Rebuilding Normally conducted by the state authorities, but federal help is always available. FEMA keeps a massive storage of food, water and medical supplies in stock away from hazard zone and deliver when required.
Failure rate Failure rate in Warning, Search, Rescue and Relief in this organisational framework is estimated to be 10 to 12 percent. The most devastating and damaging disaster in the history of USA occurred on the 28 th of August 2005. It destroyed an area of about 123,000 square kilometres (about twice the size of Sri Lanka), but the death toll was below 2000. The prediction was 80 percent accurate and most of the deaths occurred among the people who refused to listen to the warning to evacuate. Israel System (Figure2. 2) Disasters resulting from flash floods, dust storms and war related incidents are common within Israel. Constructed to control war related disaster management, Israel has applied its system successfully to control other natural and man-made disasters. Local spotters and listeners work throughout the day in shifts listening to distress calls. Once the distress call is located the local resource (single or multiple units) rushes to the point of disaster. The whole country is linked into one single system of emergency wavelength, which makes the distress call is heard in all sectors of disaster management at once. But the higher levels do not respond until they are called-in by the local group. Local spotters then call all the local resources together to find the
place or magnitude of the disaster. If the disaster is beyond the capacity of the local group they will call for outside help. As soon as the local-group call is received by the National Centre it acts with a full assistance programme. As the disaster management is the responsibility of the Armed forces in Israel it works with the 34 highest efficiency possible. Their training in search and
rescue is one of the highest in the world, if not the highest. The duty officer in the centre is authorised to use any resource available to him for the job at hand and ask for approval later.
Listener / Spotters Information systems University/ research Institutions
Local resources (local guides and trained response teams –
National Disaster Control Centre (Controller on duty) (Armed Forces)
This system works very well as local resources are utilised with precision. For example this system utilises the support of Bedouin tribesmen in search and rescue missions in the desert areas, where footprints are covered by wind blown sand or flash floods. The local military facilities are utilised in local disaster management activities making access and transportation of victims much easier for the controllers. This is possible as all adults in Israel are trained in military activities and mobilised for disaster management. Sri Lanka Sri Lanka is yet to establish a people friendly disaster management system though we have formed a ministerial level organisation. However lack of coordination and inefficiency in various public sector departments and officials makes disaster response a highly inefficient activity. Firstly the studies on disaster probability in Sri Lanka are not properly studied even after warned by the scientists. Exact reason for this is unknown but author‟s experience is that the corruption in the institutional system refuses to listen to scientific and local advice and people have very limited knowledge on disaster due to poor information system in primary and secondary systems of education, where most of them have obtained their highest educational qualifications. Secondly, complaints, protests and reports made by local 35 people on local situations are not properly analysed and
evaluated by most of the authorities responsible. For example, there were serious warnings by scientists, on the slope instability in and around Peradeniya town, but neither people nor the institutions managed to take note of them. The investigations carried out with the field class on the aftermath of the slump at Peradeniya town the team managed to observe 6 more sites with loosened soil profile, but people continue to live and the institutional organisation has just begun some settlement relocation. However, the settlement planning should have been conducted at a much earlier period. Droughts of various kinds have a disastrous effect on village economies of Sri Lanka, but lack of national Plan prevents the establishment of a disaster reduction system. Disasters originating from Illegal Gem mining, sand mining and tree felling can be listed second, third and fourth after drought in Sri Lanka. Financial corruption is the major societal disaster and number one national disaster in all the developing countries including Sri Lanka. Marketing of farm produce is a disaster which leads to even suicides in Sri Lanka, but the governments since independence have failed to establish a proper marketing system for farm produce making it the major societal disaster in Sri Lanka. Business system of disaster management – A Service industry This is where the disaster managers complete their education as the scientist becomes a manager or manager becomes a scientist through further education. The developed countries have incorporated disaster management into their normal development plans and continue to be ready for disaster. This is because that they believe proper national planning is able to reduce the intensity of disasters.
In the developing countries lack of proper national planning leads those to conduct haphazard development which results in heavy damage to settled environment at a time of disaster. The planning of rural and urban settlements in the developing world are not conducted according to the principles of modern development methods or properly researched traditional methods, which results in failure in construction and environment quality. The lowering of construction quality results in massive damage during natural disasters originating from earthquakes, cyclones and tornadoes. The lack of proper programme on preparedness of populace for disasters in the developing countries results in the increase of the scale of disaster. Therefore the societal weaknesses also contribute to the depth of disaster in the developing countries. The systems used in the developing countries are mostly top-down and have only very little connection with the people and generally this approach to disaster management results in the acceleration of the depth of the disaster. Business system of disaster management is part of human resource system of a business organization. The success or failure of a business organization depends on its ability to hire manpower 36 required by the organization. In addition disaster management
has become one of the popular fast developing businesses in the modern world. Therefore, firstly, the disaster management has become a part of business management and secondly, business has organized an income generation enterprises from disaster management. Business disaster management systems are involved in many types of activities from fire prevention to protecting intellectual property. The scale of operation of the business of disaster management is vast and highly lucrative for the industry as the application of knowledge from the science of disaster management saves massive amount of property and life in all types of industries of the world. It is estimated that the savings from the use of disaster management principles industry amounts to about 6 to 7 billion US Dollars in the developed world and loss in the developing world is estimated to be about 10 to 12 billion US Dollars. An examination of business of disaster management in the developed countries enables us to study successful systems and utilize them in case of disaster in developing countries (Figure 2.3)
Disaster management knowledge Planning
Construction Low losses Operation
Figure 2.3 Relationship between disaster management knowledge and loss Planning stage: this is the first stage in which business systems prepare for disaster management. The type of disaster the business may face will vary between financial to loss of property by fire. However, the loss due to unplanned disaster will be the responsibility of the disaster manager (mostly operations manager handles disaster management in most of the businesses) of the business. Therefore the value of disaster management is clearly stated in the advanced learning systems of business management under human resource management and strategic planning. Information on disaster management is given at the time of training and constantly updated using rewards. Importance of disaster management increases as the risk level of the business is increased and the nature of products changes from durable to soft. Risk level of business: Risk level of business depends on the product or the service provided by the business, system standards in operation and level of legal enforcement. 37
Product or the service provided by the businesses in the developing world is known to be of lower standards and lead to more disaster situations. The graphic evidence provided below is a result of many surveys conducted in Sri Lanka over a period of two years by a group of MBA students.
Level of damage expected - 0 to 100
120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1 2 3 Category (refer text for details) hard soft financial conflict
Figure 2.4 Level of disaster counted on three categories (Table 2.3)
Table 2.3 Level of disaster counted on three categories Category 1 2 3 Damage level Low Moderate High Percent 0 - 24 25 - 74 75 and above
Categories used here are based on White (1976) as given in table 2.3. Lowest risk is associated with the production and marketing of hard goods, which are durable, easily stored and used for specific purpose. The businessmen dealing in this type of goods have reported the lowest effect by disaster as about 82 percent of them manage to recover their goods after an impact of disaster. Businesses dealing with soft goods have faster rise in their damage level as the damage to their goods accelerate after initial decay. For example vegetable grower, transporter and retailer loose large amounts of finances if there is heavy rain, high heat or transportation breakdown. Media reports revealed that the vegetable growers of Central and Uva provinces have lost about 200 to 300 million Rupees during the ultra wet period of 2006 October-November, due to heavy rain and blockage of roads by landslides. Total loss due to damage to soft goods during Tsunami of 20041226 was estimated at 2 to 3 billion Rupees. Businesses operating in financial systems are always at risk 38 from situations like „bad loans‟ „bad management‟ and bad
investments‟. For example in Sri Lanka bad management and bad loans has destroyed all State owned banks and limited their financial capability to support the larger economy. However, the assistance and recovery grants from the government has kept them operating with limited capacity. About 200 to 300 cases of business bankruptcies are reported annually in Sri Lanka with many enterprises in the category of small scale businesses going bankrupt due to poor market survey, financial mismanagement and disaster. Poor market survey is one of the major reasons for small scale bankruptcies in Sri Lanka as most of these businesses do not conduct a preparatory market survey and start their business with an idea that they can earn a living from the business. Secondly due to addiction to alcohol or try to follow the life style of big business some of the small scale businesses reach their bankruptcies. About 30 percent of the bankruptcies in the small scale businesses originate from a disaster related to family or weather. In a survey conducted during the 2006 October-November heavy rains revealed that 61 small scale businesses and 12 medium scale businesses were closed for an indefinite period of time due to landslides (Table 2.4).
Table 2.4 Reasons for failure Percent of bankruptcies 42 28 30 Reason given by the respondent/or informant Poor market survey Financial mismanagement Disaster
The cumulative rate of loss from financial service mismanagement is higher than the loss from hard and soft product systems. This is because the financial services rest on their capacity to meet the sudden demand for funds. Therefore, loss of trust by customers on the basis of inability to provide quick services makes losses in a financial business. For example, weak state owned banking system in Sri Lanka suffers continuously from this type of failures and looses a massive amount of savings and investment capital. The highest level of losses occurs in business when they are affected by conflict and war. The estimated loss to the Sri Lanka economy from 1983 to 2005 from conflict and war is estimated at about 6500 billion Rupees without counting on the losses made by the loss of about 60,000 to 70,000 lives. Two world wars (1918 and 1939) have destroyed business properties valued at about 45,000 billion US Dollars and at present there is an annual loss of businesses valued at about 20 billion US Dollars by war and conflict. Today war and conflict is the major factor responsible for loss of national financial resources in the world. Even the developed world has fallen into this sad situation where businesses loose large quantities of finance due to global terrorism and their contribution to armed forces actions39 against selected terrorist targets. Daily the forces of the developed world
spent about 2 to 5 billion US Dollars (US= 1.5 to 2, UK= 0.5, other nations (European, ANZAC, Canada and UN Peace Keeping Force) collectively about 3 billion US Dollars to secure their nations from terrorism. The arms, airplane, pharmaceutical and vehicle manufacturing industries benefit heavily from war and conflict and prosper. For example the competition for regional superiority in the Indian sub continent has made India to manufacture a modern stealth jet fighter with an investment of more than 20 billion Indian Rupees, when about 30 percent of Indians live below poverty line accepted by United Nations. This is a common scene in the international political scene, where power and domination is considered more important than humanity.
The three most disaster prone businesses are transportation, oil and production of chemicals. The most disasters in transportation industry occur in railway and bus accidents which amount to about two thirds of the deaths. About 60 percent of the deaths and 70 percent of the injured are reported from developing countries, where system standards are not kept properly due to socio-political corruption. The reasons for accidents given in Table 2.5 indicate that all the four top reasons
originate from lack of proper legal control on transportation by the respective authorities. This results in serious traffic congestion, delays and more accidents resulting in a loss of about 5 to 6 billion Rupee annual loss to the economy of Sri Lanka. The developed world uses strict enforcement, heavy fines, video evidence, and cancellation of license and jail terms for the regularization of their transportation business. The disaster ratio arising from transportation business in Sri Lanka is 1:6 vehicles compared to USA where the ratio is 1:11. USA has about 600 million road vehicles while Sri Lanka had only about 4 million vehicles. Table 2.5 Factors responsible for transport related accidents (450 accidents and five major factors) Factor Over Speed Carelessness Not following traffic code Poor vehicle maintenance Poor road use by Category No proper legal control No proper legal control No proper legal control No proper legal control Percent 41 30 11 10
pedestrians In developed world, the business systems provide many types of disaster management to cover all types of businesses. But in the developing countries, disaster management is taken seriously only by multi-national or high-income group of companies, which are involved in large scale operations. This is primarily a result of low environmental literacy and understanding on risk in private and public service systems. This type of attitude prevents the use of scientific disaster management in the developing countries, which is the only answer for the control and management of disasters. Grass root/ Participatory systems of disaster management – Knowledge on disaster is first gained at home from the mother as she warns the infant with the word „No‟. The infant learns to react to sound of the mother and wait for her to warn of any impending disaster in his life. Then the family members are recognized as helpers and school becomes the main provider of information as the infant grows into a child. Then the radio, TV, print and other electronic media supply the child with information on his environment and disasters. At a later stage child will gather information on traditional systems of disaster management and the modern systems. However the functioning of this system depends on the efficiency of the public information system and the business systems of disaster management. The developed world has a well established system on disaster management which supports and learn from the grass root/ Participatory system of disaster management, but due to inefficient coordination between the grass root/Participatory and public service system of the developing world, the developing world suffer from heavy damage from disasters. If the Grassroots/Participatory systems are well developed alongside modern systems, they become highly applicable and suitable disaster management systems. This is constantly being proved by the fact that well disciplined families produce more of well-disciplined children than the rest of the families. At the time of 20041226 Tsunami it was clear that the use of local knowledge saved about 40 people at Kalkudah area, Sri Lanka; a village in the coastal area of northern Sumatra as the people knew of dropping sea level is a sign of a big wave, Indonesia and a group of tourist in a beach in Thailand by the elephants running away from the shore just seconds before the wave hit. The warning centers operated by local fisherman‟s associations in southern India also helped to save many people in Tamilnadu. Author was warned by the driver of the department vehicle (who noticed goats standing under a tree in a ring, which indicate an imminent arrival of a powerful wind force) when he was returning from a field trip to Baga, in the border between Niger and Nigeria on the shores of Lake Chad of a massive sandstorm (Khamsin). Traditions and belief systems have always had limits on 41 travel, food and social mixing, because these are the areas where most of
the unknowns are present. The prohibition of girl children to leave home without an escort is a remedy made against preventing indecent assault or rape. Restriction on some food items at certain times of the day or limit on quantity according to maturity was practiced to prevent disease or discomfort. Marriage between different ethnic groups, castes, classes and religions are not readily supported by many communities of the world today because of fear of emergence of disparity once the freshness of the marriage is worn out.
Types of disaster management systems Traditional disaster management identifies disasters on the basis of their relationship to natural and man-made systems, which will be presented to the reader in the first part of this book. However in this book an attempt will make to study disasters within a framework of man: disaster interface, where the scale of disaster is treated as an important factor in disaster management. This is because today it is not the cause, but the scale of disaster, which decide the type of management system required by a given disaster. Traditional disaster management (Figure 3.1) Traditional disaster management is based on the approach of security and safety developed by the military system of disaster management employed by monarchial or colonial system of government. Though this is identified as a traditional system of management, it formed the basis of present management system, which uses democratic systems in place of old methods. Therefore, the modern system differs from the old system only through the change of operator and the methods employed by the operator.
The traditional system of disaster management depends on the central authority to plan, be ready, face, provide relief and finally help rehabilitation. In here the system depends on the decisions made by the central authority for all activities of disaster management.
Figure 3.1 Traditional Disaster Management Systems King/ President/ Premier/ Council/ Governor/ Chairman/CEO
Police/ Army command
Local authority Local Government officials Philanthropists Local leaders
Rehabilitation begins Local groups
This system works well in the developed countries where communication links are well maintained and specific instructions are readily placed with all responsible persons or organizations involved in disaster management. Only marginal problems of delay occur in this system in developed countries because of the system is highly coordinated from the central authority and whenever required ordered (Figure 3.1). The most recent example for this type of operation was visible in the management of Cyclone Katrina in USA. The progress of events is given below to show the system of operation available under FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Authority), the most extensive hazard management system in the world. Developing countries today have no specific system of disaster management and utilize systems closer to traditional disaster management. It is very difficult to categorise the systems available in developing countries due to use of incorrect methodology and lack of prepreparedness. Further all disaster management activities in all the developing countries are troubled by corruption as reported in the documents of international funding authorities. This results in the failure of disaster management and continuation of trauma in the majority of the affected.
New disaster management
New disaster management is constructed on the basis of sustainability of the systems where the massive organizational framework is supported by many regional and local networks. This is because big government has always being plagued by bureaucratic failures due to its many sectors which have inherent system failures. This was evident in response to all major disasters of local, regional and national disasters. In addition the failure of global organizations was evident in Sahel famine and drought of 1983, Bangladesh cyclone in 1976 and recently in the south Asian Tsunami. This type of weaknesses results from failures in the established systems of scientific knowledge, operational and human response. Scientific knowledge system: Science is supreme in modern and postmodern thinking and therefore any prediction without a proper scientific base is not adhered to by institutions and community. This thinking has to be seriously questioned in new disaster management thinking. Following stories may clarify the reality of thinking though these thought patterns may not be considered truly scientific.
Story 1 “I said that sinking the foundation to the corners (neriya) would have reduced the disaster” was the response of the 73 year old mother of the disaster shown in plate 1.
The destruction exhibited in Plate 1is due to poor foundation constructed on a deeply weathered regolith and detailed investigation 44 conducted at the site revealed that the design of the structure
was not sufficient to bear the weight of the construction on a loose regolith. The design adviser was a technical officer with design knowledge only and he was not able to calculate the flow ratio of this type of regolith. In addition none of the research orgnisations involved in landslide research in Sri Lanka has provided people and local design approval agencies with flow ratios for regolith. Then the conclusion is that big government has failed in the training of technical officers and providing vital information to people in the issuance of building permits. However, like in all other developing countries, people of Sri Lanka have no facility to challenge big government. Then the modern or post-modern concept of science has failed in this case, by refuting the advice of the mother and listening to the technical officer and plan approval authority. Story 2 Scientists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre were not ready to issue a tsunami warning to Indian Ocean states on the 26th December, 2006, because they had no direct data from the Indian Ocean. However, they were of the notion that the earthquake was very powerful and had the power to construct a massive tsunami. This is the basic weakness in modern science in relation to disaster prediction, which depends on age old statistics. Our scientific knowledge is very new, but its acceptability depends on very old system of statistics, which were constructed to suit a slow moving world where plate and climatic stability was the norm. We cannot blame anyone of any organization for this type of delay as all our training is based on the acceptability of logical and scientific facts only, but it should be remembered that not all activities during the new era of change ushered in by climatic and geologic changes can be studied within a framework of modern science. Questions have to be raised on finding new ways and means of predicting natural and man made disasters. Story 3 “ they were standing downward of the mechanical digger which was removing the freshly fallen slide debris and suddenly the whole block shifted and in a moment I saw people getting buried alive” A bus driver who watched the Paradeka slide from the drivers seat of his bus parked away from the slide path. The motorists and pedestrians in Sri Lanka has the habit of watching this type of activity dangerously close to the site and three people died and four vehicles were seriously damaged at Paradeka site. Story 4 When we were on field class tour of Mathale, at Sudu Ganga Bridge a motorcyclist was looking at the girls taking notes of the flow of the river by the side of the road and did not see the motorcyclists in front and ran into the back of the motor bicycle in front of him, causing damages to the parking light. This is identified as one of the causes of traffic accidents by the author after interviewing a sample of injured drivers and accompanying people on the environment before the45 occurrence of the accidents. This has some relationship to the
clothing worn by the girls or their attractiveness which distracts drivers. On the day of the accident described in this story girls were wearing tea shirts and trousers, which is highly attractive to most of the drivers in Sri Lanka as our culture limits tightly worn clothes (it was only about an hour ago author was reminded of this type activity as another cyclists slipped his foot when making an attempt to look at students). Then a truly scientific system of analyzing and prediction of disaster is not very useful in the reduction of disasters in a highly complex natural and human situations experienced today specially in the developing countries. Where is the weakness: Failures in the established systems of scientific knowledge?
Firstly, the weakness arises from lack of scientific governance which leads to non-democratic system of social relations. This system of governance results in blockage of transmission of scientific ideas of disaster to people. For example present day settlement planning has to be based on concepts of environmental change activated by geological and climatic forces. In here the establishment of any new housing and settlement system should consider latest geological data and climatic data which show a period of high variability. Form example the field class of the M.Sc. Environment Science, Department of Zoology managed to identify the risk of excavations made at Peradeniya town. A detailed field exercise conducted between 2005 April and 2006 December by the filed class of four groups of students at Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihinthale, Sri Lanka confirmed that most of the flood and landslide damage occurred in this period was due to poor design and failure in authorities responsible for issuing building permits without referring to latest geologic and climatic data available. Secondly, nonchalant attitude of the authorities responsible to adapt or develop technology required in the development of high risk areas has become a major weakness in the occurrence of disaster. This is a
common practice in all developing countries where local scientific systems are not developed properly. Even if these systems are developed the institutions are not capable of operationalising them due to administrative and political interferences. Thirdly, lack of scientific environmental planning is responsible for the above presented two problems relating to disaster management because lack of a holistic approach results in failure of disaster management, which is a principal sub-system of environmental planning. It is very clear from our experiences with the systems operated in the Ancient civilization of Sri Lanka and the traditional beliefs in the present day society, that the best methods of disaster management has to be constructed with use of a mix from both the scientific and traditional belief systems.
Then the fear to go beyond structured science (Stories 1, 2
and 3) and not listening to other available systems makes hazard management a difficult task for all types of communities, regions and countries. Where is the weakness: Failures in Operational systems –voluntary and involuntary? It is very clear that industrial and domestic disasters occur primarily as a result of operational systems failures. This is because primarily these failures are associated with machinery and utility goods. Operational system is a scientific method for the sustenance of production of goods and services. Firstly, user guides user guides or instruction booklets given to users of products and services form the basis of operational system. These are produced after a detailed study of the nature and behaviour of the product or services. The studies on the use of these user guides have shown that about 60 to 70 percent of the users will not utilize them properly in the installation or use of the product or services. Secondly, operationalising advice gathered from scientific or any other reliable method has to be tested and utilized if the impact of disaster is to be reduced to a minimum. However, in developing countries advice gathered is not utilized properly or not directed properly towards disaster management. For example in Sri Lanka a system of information dissemination on disaster is yet to be installed and operated though there are about 4 to 5 government departments engage in disaster control research. The websites of this organization do not update their information or issue warnings regularly and the users who are expected to operationalised them are not in constant contact with each other. Following stories reveal the true nature of utilization of operational system information (user guides and scientific data).
Story 5 “ the user guides produced by the manufacturer were too technical for the local airline maintenance crew and the authorities responsible were not able to correct the matter” A crash investigation into a plane crash which killed 63 people in Hawaii. Story 6 “ the area around here is unstable, even during the British period the plantation managers have not permitted any construction on this land. However about 20 years ago the land was distributed among landless. See what happened now, the whole area has slumped” Comment on Naketiya slump slide, Naketiya, Sri Lanka, by a local elder. Story 7 “ these are definitely a sign of some instability in the region and I think a major slide is imminent, but we have no capacity to find the place as we have no equipment and Universities are not consulted on these matters until after the disaster” Author‟s comment to Field Class, 2001, M.Sc. , Environmental Science, University of Colombo, Colombo, referring to small and medium scale soil falls, rock falls and47 slumps seen between Balangoda and Naketiya . (in 2002
October, a major landslide occurred at Puwakgahawela Ela, Belihuloya , which killed 6 people and destroyed property worth about 15 million rupees and loss of livelihoods is estimated to be about 2 million annually for the next 50 years as about 12 farmers lost their paddy fields). Story 8 “ the emergency control switch was not serviced as advised in the manuals and once the overheating of the reactor began the emergency shut-down systems were not functioning, which led to the massive disaster”. Technician who managed to save his life from the Chernobyl atomic reactor melt down in 1986 (Discovery 2001). Story 9 “ falling trees is the major cause of power loss in our area, but we are helpless as we have no authority to remove them”, Manager of a village are CEGB referring to frequent power failures.
Then the poor operational system utilization (Stories 5 to 9) and not listening to new information within the operational systems makes hazard management a difficult task for all types of communities, regions and countries. Human response: Failures in believing and listening to scientific and belief system information and following advice given by respective authorities on disaster is one of the weakest points in disaster management. This basically arises due to two major reasons. 1. 2. 1. Feeling safe Sarcasm towards scientific predictions
In relation to disaster most people generally feel safe until they are faced with disaster. Firstly, it is the human nature to believe that there is no danger as long as society does not encounter danger. This is based on the belief that society is expected to feel or know of danger. Further most people believe that it is your fate, which will expose you to disaster. In addition most of the people in the developing countries believe that it is wish of God to encounter disaster, though all the established religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam reject this type of fatalism. Concept of fate and power it has on life is definitely older than all the established religions, but its control on human thinking in the developing world is extremely powerful. This may be primarily due to helplessness formed due to bad governance and corruption in them. Story 10 “ Sea was our friend, we loved it and we never thought that sea would take my wife and daughter away from me” person who lost his wife and a daughter to 20041226 Asian Mega Tsunami. Weligama, Sri Lanka. Story 11 “ Are they mad,Tsunami safety area here? If the water level48 reaches 20 feet, which it will be in the expected Tsunami, this
place will be under water and it is an enclosed area, people have no place to run”, Tsunami expert‟s comment on safe areas provided for Tsunami in the Pacific coast of Washington State. Story 12 “We never thought that this deep soil can move. However, the rain was the heaviest in about 50 years”. Person who encountered a loss of about 1.5 million Rupees in a slump which destroyed his three story house. Story 13 „there was a huge low tide, people have gone to sea enjoying the dry land. Then all hell broke loose” Tsunami survivour. Phuket, Thailand Story 14 „Why concrete could not retain the slope? Question from a trader at the site of the slump at Peradeniya town. Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
Story 15 “ We take that bus daily to work, but that day we missed it by about a minute. We think that it is Lord Buddha who saved us” two people who travel daily by bus to work referring to Yangalmodera collision which killed 42 people. Yangalmodera, Alawwa, Sri Lanka.
Secondly, daily struggle for life of almost all the human beings except a few super-rich, politicians and administrators guarded by advanced systems of disaster control, makes them forget disaster. In the developed world a well established system of disaster control and insurance is available to society and they have a better knowledge on disaster situations than the people of the developing world. In the developing world people have to forget about disasters to work and live as their political system has failed to provide an acceptable level of protection from disaster.
Non-chalance and Sarcasm towards scientific predictions
Science of disaster is a very weak area of understanding and many mistakes are encountered in prediction and control. This is because disaster is an event which is formed from many complex factors and present scientific knowledge is yet to become capable of fully understanding disasters. This may also be a result of the weakness of modern science as discussed earlier. The serious weaknesses in disaster prediction and control in developing countries including Sri Lanka is a result of not utilizing available knowledge base due to lack of national planning, which prevents the development of scientific knowledge base required by disaster management. Story 16 “ In 1998, when I indicated that there is high risk for tourist 49 areas of Phuket from Tsunamis, I was fired from my job and
they have now put me in charge of Tsunami warning system”. Present Head of Tsunami Warning System of Thailand, who was fired for frightening people in 1998. Story 17 “Though we cannot stop them we have the scientific knowledge to control them and bring the impact to a level, which will not affect the economy of a region or a country. As one of the authors has already proposed since 1990s, a household based environmental conservation programme must be initiated immediately to avoid more disasters of this nature. The same author wishes to inform the policy makers and public that the catchments of Maha Oya and Deduru Oya are also seriously eroded in the upper reaches and sediment in the lower reaches. A climatic occurrence similar to that which happened in the Denawaka Valley moving across this catchment may cause a similar disaster. The long-term data indicate the south-west monsoon is slowly shifting its path in a North-North-West direction and this may bring a cloud mass and block it between the Matale-Ambokka ranges and the lower ranges of North-western plains resulting in a massive rain storm. This will create a condition conducive to a major flood.” (Seneviratne and Karunaratne, 2003). The predicted floods came in 2006, but authors were not able continue research due to lack of recognition given to the article. Story 18 “A lot of people died in Sumatra, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, because they did not know warning signs, although we cannot bring them back, if we help the public understand natural rhythms, we will help them survive and help them live in harmony with the planet. We got to live in harmony with the planet and Tsunami is a classic example of a clash between a planet and humanity, and humanity lost. We think we run our lives and we control our destinies. Planet controls our destinies.” (Austin, 2005). Options of disaster management in developing countries Developed countries have shown that they require only continuing with their line of research and approach for disaster control systems in operation in their countries. These countries have made adjustments to suit the increased frequency of disasters due to geological and climatic change, which has overtaken all human activities. They continue their research into probable scenarios expected with a notion that development of knowledge is the only way to control disasters in future. Further they have put a high value in people centered systems in their approach to disaster control to establish a serious connectivity to information dissemination and to increase literacy on disaster management. Two worst disasters in the recorded history of mankind occurred between December 2004 and December 2006: Asian Mega Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Total lives lost were estimated 250,000 in the Asian Mega Tsunamis and 2000 in Hurricane Katrina. Estimated damage to property in Asian Mega Tsunami was about 150 billion US dollars and in Hurricane Katrina the damage was estimated to be about 25 50 billion US Dollars. However it showed that the intensity of
damage is related to lack of environmental control in the Asian Mega Tsunami (refer to stories 16 and 18). and slow response of authorities and people towards warning in case of Hurricane Katrina (story 19). Story 19 National Weather centre records indicate that the prediction was correct and their warning on Hurricane Katrina was about 80 percent accurate. The prediction was that it will make landfall in the delta area of the Mississippi with category four (4) strength. The area affected was too large to be controlled with the available state and even resources immediately available to FEMA were not sufficient to cope in a situation where massive flooding occurred. Area affected was the size of United Kingdom (about 9 times the size of Sri Lanka). The levees were not ready according to experts and were neglected due to higher spending on national security after the September 11th attacks on World Trade centre in 2001. Poor people of the area were not properly supported in transport and many of them did not take the warning seriously and as one elderly women who refused to evacuate commented “I have got my provisions and pray for us”. Email records of the operation of Huricane Katrina reveals that political decisions of the State authorities and relegating FEMA to a non-cabinet level organization by the White House were responsible for the slow response to disaster. Then there was crisis in information sharing and operation command until Colonel Honore from the military was appointed for the conduct of the relief operation. Therefore following stages have failed in the disaster management system during Hurricane Katrina in the economically most powerful nation in the world. 1. 2. Hurricane was predicted accurately as possible – science prevailed Hurricane landed in the worst place possible and a) levees were not ready – pre-planning failure b) people were too confident – low environment literacy due to poor evaluation guided by local belief system? c) FEMA was ready but the hurricane was unexpectedly severs – effect of climatic change – power of the unexpected event d) Search and rescue operation was beyond the state level but the decision to allow a higher authority to intervene was delayed –human error? Inexperience?
Story 20 Heavy rains have resulted in landslides and floods in most parts of the wet zone, eastern and south eastern dry zone and in the hill country of Sri lank a resulting in damage estimated to be around 60 billion rupees. In addition repairs to roads and other structures may take another 5 to 6 billion rupees. The loss and damage to crops are also in the region of billions of rupees. 51 Heavy floods occurred in Maha Oya and Deduru Oya
catchments and heavy sliding occurred with high level of damage due to unscientific clearing of slopes as predicted in the article published in 2003. Following information were provided to the nation by the author and his co-researcher, which is part of a massive information system presented by many scientists, in learned journals, general journals, news papers, laymen and affected, radio and TV networks in the last five to ten years. CSP 1
The New Village (Seneviratne, 1975) Extract from - January 10th, 1975 – Daily News, p 6 The development and environment has begun to initiate many interests in the field of economic development as the 1973 – 74-world drought has made aware of the accelerating environmental degradation. The developing nations are faced with the massive task of feeding the rapidly rising population and increasing rich-poor gap. Lack of proper planning has led to destruction of available land and other resources in the developing world and it is clear that the future looks bleak. The aim of this article is to inform planners and political leaders of our nation that only a village based development programme is able to revive our nations economic growth and stabilise the future status of our nation as a developed country. The models taken to describe the process of development needed are taken for some countries, which have used their environment to be developed and stay developed. In this programme the village as we know may not be always suitable as the new village proposed here is to be a unit where sufficient amount of local resources are available for a local economy to be established. In here the existing small village units may be amalgamated and some large village units have to be redesigned to suit the future. New village in the latter half of the 20th century is to be a modern village with village resources and crafts are developed aiming at local as well as international market. The village resources are of two major varieties. Firstly there are physical resources of the village, such as its geomorphologic, vegetation and hydrologic resources. Every village has its speciality in the available physical resources. The finding of these resources have to conducted using modern morphological surveys and specially a technique known as geomorphologic mapping. Geomorphologic mapping is not only suitable for finding the physical resources, but it can be used for the understanding of the natural forces working within the villages unit. For example the flood occurrence, slide probability and many other unstable forms operating within the village such as gulling can be identified for this type of survey. In countries of the developed world they have already finished the identification of the village based resources and risks in the environment through this method. The growing science of Satellite mapping is now aiding this work with rapid provision of new52 maps with risk environments. As we already have the aerial
photography of high quality we can begin this work immediately and use of university resources at Peradeniya and Colombo is advised to begin this work. This survey will indicate the types of local mineral and vegetal resources and their capacities. For example after this survey it is possible to know where is clay and sand required for pottery and construction respectively. Pottery is going to be a highly marketable product in future in the local and international markets and the demand for sand is going to increase by about 10 fold in the next 20 to 30 years. The village based cultivation systems are also under pressure from rapidly rising population and villages are expanding into higher slopes or wet lands as there location forces. This results in the erosion of hillsides and burial of the wetland both which will lower the water availability of the surrounding area and limit the quantity of good quality drinking water. The village in the ancient civilisation was a well-planned unit of operation, which had only a very limited effect on water and vegetal resources. This arose from the location and organisation of the village. Location of the village was ideal for living and was in a safe are out of the way of the spillway of the tank and the tank bund. It was located away form the main forested area and the pressure from the settlement was limited on the forest. The modern village is expanding along the roads in a linear form and this puts a high pressure on the roadside lands either wet or dry. In addition private ownership of land has forced construction in any place you like not listening to risk factor. Today about 12 percent of the total population and about 70 percent of the poor live in lands with high risk from flood, landslide and disease. A new village therefore is required to be established with a great concern to our environmental factors. We should aim at nuclear type of villages in the future with all the infrastructure facilities supplied in a well-planned manner. The resettlement and new village establishment should take into consideration of the effect of allowing villages to spread, as they like. The current emphasis on village based economy by the government is a timely activity, but the stability of a village is not only achieved by cultivation and related economic activity, the water and soil resources of the village also have to be taken care of well under a long term plan if the prosperity of the village is to be maintained. Further, the village depend heavily on its craftsmanship, where many types of craftsmen practise their craft with dignity and faith. Crafts are a product of high demand in the international market and with the expected development in air freight there is a lucrative market for crafts in the latter part of the 20 th century. Therefore it is timely to look towards a new village based on its location, size, capabilities and development in the next 20 to 30 years. In the process of development the highly trained university staff and the students with the newest knowledge should be utilised well. Climatic change and its effect on Sri Lanka (Seneviratne and Karunaratne, 2003) Present global climate is defined here as the climate of the 53 decade 1980-2000. This period witnessed the highest level of
development in climatology, since its origin in the early part of 19th century. The development of digital recorders and use of weather satellites to view the earth globally has enabled climatologists to understand the global picture better than ever before. In summary global climate and environment was in a time of change in the decade of 1990 to 2000 and the changes in climatic phenomena identified in the early 1980s were confirmed by research conducted in this period. The following global components of climate were identified in detail during this period. 1. 2. 3. 4. Greenhouse effect Ozone depletion El Nino and La Nina Change in ocean circulation
Greenhouse effect is the primary mover of the change in earth‟s climate. Ozone depletion and El Nino and La Nina are primarily a result of global warming which leads to the formation of greenhouse effect. Change in ocean circulation is partially geological but at present it is accelerated by greenhouse effect. Sri Lanka Climatology is a poorly developed science in Sri Lanka as there is no national policy on the study of climatic change, drought, flood and storm rainfall damage control. It is believed by many that the lukewarm attitude of policy makers towards climatic change arises from lack of understanding of the dynamics of nature and the value of integrated studies on environment. This has resulted in the annual loss of lives and property, which affect the gradual development of local and regional communities and sometimes the national plans for economic development through massive damage to environment as in case of 2003 floods. Firstly, research conducted on climate and its regional variation, seasonality and agro-climatic significance is rare due to non-availability of equipment and trained personnel. The present group of scientists concentrates their efforts either on impact studies and human interface rather than the basic nature of change and predictability. This is a result of lack of experienced climatologists in the field and the domination of meteorology and climatology by pure science oriented personnel, who have a limited knowledge in spatio-temporality of climate change. Universities in Sri Lanka are not conducting technical research due to absence of field climatologists, though there are many that study impact and weather phenomena. Secondly, increase of damage due to climate events occurs due to very low literacy on spatio-temporality of climate in the general population and policy makers. This low literacy emanates from the lack of a proper place for climatic events of local environment in GCE (OL) and GCE (AL) levels of education. Thirdly the database is poor due to lack of data 54 from many sensitive locations in the scenario of climatic
change in Sri Lanka, specially intermediate and dry zones. Agriculture, power supply and communications suffer regularly due to lack of knowledge on local events and low literacy on climate. The occurrence of annual and seasonal droughts cannot be predicted due to lack of studies on climatic change in Sri Lanka and its immediate surroundings. The seasonal droughts account for about 60 to 70 per cent of the crop failures and about two to three suicides among farmers annually. The suicides occur among the farmers who have become heavily indebted and unable to settle their loans due to repeated loss of crops due to seasonal drought. The impact of this type of crop failure are mostly not recorded in regular surveys in detail and downplayed by the media, which affect about a 200,000 farmer families every year. The primary reason for this type of failure is poor prediction of water availability, which depends on seasonal rainfall. Police and judicial records indicate struggles for water due to seasonal drought result in civil and criminal disturbances in most of the resettlement projects in Sri Lanka, which sometimes involve the local political authority. Recently, there was a case of a politico and a group of his supporters breaking locks on weirs in Kala Oya irrigation system. These are the beginnings of new group of conflicts related to water in Sri Lanka. One of the reasons for the present crisis in hydropower generation in Sri Lanka is non-adherence to the long-term predictions on climatic change and seasonal variation of rainfall as proposed by the global climatic database from 1970 to 1990. Today all the hydro power plants in Sri Lanka work under-capacity for more than nine months of the year and the industry is yet to find a solution to power crisis. Power lines and telephone lines suffer heavily from their inability to withstand pressure exerted by moderate thunderstorm winds as these are designed without much consideration to average wind speeds. It is common to hear from the authorities that the reason for the power failure or telephone failure is either the equipment is under floods or the line is damaged by falling poles or trees. Therefore the present relationship between climate and man in Sri Lanka is a story of helplessness and misery. Lessons to learn A recent visit to Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Norway enabled one of the authors observe the attempts made by these countries to find solutions to increased intensity of snow fall and rain storms one author had the opportunity of joining two field visits in Norway to observe the solutions used by climatologists and hydrologists55 in the increase of infiltration and percolation in some problem
catchments. In Norway there is a long-term decline in the mean annual snowfall, which provides most of the water needs for the generation hydro-electricity. The critical areas of study are based on a well organized and managed rural conservation built upon small administrative areas known as communes (equal to District Councils in Sri Lanka). The individual unit of operation was lowered to the level of household, which was systematically controlled and helped to maintain the best possible level of run off control. The control of the smallest to large streams by forestation or maintaining a thick grass and herb cover on the steep slopes are supported by very strict laws. The law-breakers are subjected to heavy fines and sometimes prison sentences. This was made possible by the division of ownership of forests and grassland on a jointly owned basis by the State and an individual. Almost all the farmland in Norway is privately owned, but the forests or grassland are of the perimeter farmland can be used by the seasonal traveler to these areas, provided that they obey the laws, with regard to berry picking, tourism and hiking. One author went on a berry picking tour with his friend and observed how the people come and pick berries, without damaging the environment. The forests are well maintained and used on the principle of forest harvesting, which provides a continuous growth and an economic value. The urban areas were well managed with a network of storm drains, which enabled the storm rainfall to be gradually sent back to the rivers, streams or fjords. This has resulted in the prevention of the destruction of springs and small streams in the rural areas and the damage to power distribution and telephone lines. On the basis of this knowledge, it is timely to say that Sri Lanka belongs to a group of countries where very little attention is paid to increase infiltration and regularized disposal of storm water in an era of increased intensity of storms and changing climate. The above mentioned developed countries have carried out the conservation measures in parallel to the maximum utilization of land. In these countries all the land is well utilized within a framework of legislation and scientific use of land. Though there are problems of land use in these areas, they are reduced to minimum through the use of scientific knowledge. Water resources exist on the principles of hydrology and dynamics. Therefore to obtain the maximum utilization capacity the humans should be knowledgeable and efficient. Who suffers?
The IPCC has indicated an average of 1.7 degree Centigrade increase in temperature by 2070 for the area in and around Sri Lanka. Concurrently, it predicts a maximum of five percent reduction of the wet season rainfall, while there will be no change in the dry season rainfall. The rising sea level will make the lowest 3 to 5 kilometers of the lower reaches of all the rivers saline. It is clear that the poor is the most vulnerable group to climatic change as their capacity to cope with sudden events resulting from climatic change is less than the other groups with better financial capacity. It is clear that about 92 percent of the householders who suffer a property damage of 70 per cent and above in the last major floods and slides in Sri Lanka are in the low income group. This is because higher income groups are able to live in safe locations, which are more expensive and situated on stable geological foundations. This is a reality in all the developing countries where the poor is left with the poorest quality and highest hazard prone land as feudal and elitist landlords still hold power of land ownership and control. Data on fatalities from annual floods and landslides in Sri Lanka reveals that 94 per cent of the fatalities occur in the poorest group of people and they live under continuous threat of natural disasters. In a survey of 12 districts in Sri Lanka conducted between 1996 and 2002, 84 per cent of the low income groups identified climate related events as damaging to their livelihood and 32 per cent were seriously affected with damages leading to heavy loss of income. In addition to physical damage there is a rising health risk associated with climatic change. Climatic change and health is a well researched topic of study in the developed world as they have accepted the concept of change and probable increase in new and existing health risks. There are three major health risks associated with climatic change in Sri Lanka. Firstly, the increasing dryness in all parts of the country will increase the risk of mosquito borne diseases and water related diseases. Secondly, increased intensity of rainfall associated with climatic change affect the health of people in poor housing (all houses without a proper ceiling - about 90 per cent of all housing in Sri Lanka are in this category) through fine droplet spray, which the researchers believe to be one of the major causes of the increase in respiratory diseases. Thirdly, the increase of high flood levels, severe droughts, landslides and heavy winds will increase the instantaneous health risk all over the country. At the moment there is no data bank on this aspect, though related data is available in many public sector documents. In addition to physical damage there is a rising health risk associated with climatic change. Climatic change and health is a well 57 researched topic of study in the developed world as they have
accepted the concept of change and probable increase in new and existing health risks. There are three major health risks associated with climatic change in Sri Lanka. Firstly, the increasing dryness in all parts of the country will increase the risk of mosquito borne disease and water related diseases. Secondly, increased intensity of rainfall associated with climatic change affect the health of people in poor housing (all houses without a proper ceiling - about 90 per cent of all housing in Sri Lanka are in this category) through fine droplet spray, which the researchers believe to be one of the major causes of the increase in respiratory diseases. Thirdly, the increase of high flood levels, severe droughts, landslides and heavy winds will increase the instantaneous health risks all over the country. At the moment there is no data bank on this aspect, though related data is available in many public sector documents. CSP 2 Floods and landslides : the emerging scenario (Seneviratne and Karunaratne, 2003) A detailed review of the relevance of climatic change shows that the wet areas of Sri Lanka will face an increasing threat of floods and slides in the period ahead of 1990 to the future. More than 500 academic and technical publications bear witness to this scenario. The best available most recent academic and technical data are provided by the WMO/UNEP Report (1998) on the regional impacts of climatic change, which clearly indicates an increase of total and intensity of rainfall in the South Asian region. In 1975, 1998 and 2002 one of the authors had warned that the frequency of flooding would increase in Sri Lanka, associated with climatic change and development. In 1998 in an article which appeared in Dinamina about an earthquake near Kandy, one of the authors called for the establishment of scientific organisations to study and predict natural hazards, as most of the developing countries have done in the past two decades. Most of the damage which occurred in the present flood situation could have been avoided, if the people who are responsible for safety of human resources of Sri Lanka watched radar weather maps and listened to predictions regularly for about four days before the arrival of the depression. Information of the WMO reveals that the depression clouds can get stagnated when they are caught between two mountain ranges and that is what exactly happened in this situation. Some strands of the depression clouds were caught in between.
Samanala and Gongala-Hiniduma ranges in Denawaka valley: They kept on creating cloud streets and line squalls, which brought heavy continuous rainfall. One of the authors has published an article in 2000 (Daily News) on new detailed evidences of rain formation and line squalls in Sri Lanka. In addition there are more than 300 research papers published between 1900 and 2002 on changing climate and dangers of poor environmental planning in Sri Lanka, which were also disregarded by the policy makers. The destruction caused to lives and property due to the inability of the policy makers to grasp the value of scientific data and technical data is indicated well from the present disaster. The use of floodable land and geologically unstable slopes for housing, neglect of heavy sedimentation of streams and rivers and forgetting that nature has its rhythm were the three major errors committed by the policy makers. Grassroots also have to be blamed for their ignorance of nature and poor environment literacy. However, none of the developed countries in the world has not achieved the present status of balance of environment without strict environmental regulation and law. One of the authors of this paper lived at Ratnapura in the 1960s and 1970s and is a regular visitor in the study of sedimentation and flood hazard and has predicted many times in his writings on the possible dangers. The lowlands in and around Ratnapura are built by Kalu Ganga to store its floodwater in the time of its major flood (This applies to Gin Ganga and Nilwala Ganga also). The mean annual rainfall of Ratnapura district is 3,000 millimeters. Kalu Ganga is a river in which the flood can be predicted easily, if there is a watch of rain in the Samanala range and Western slopes of Gongala ranges (Kalawana and Kukulegama areas). These three rivers have the steepest gradients for any river in Sri Lanka in their upper reaches, which leads to rapid flow of rainwater from the highland to the lowland. There are only limited virgin forests in the catchment areas of Gin Ganga, Nilwala Ganga and Kalu Ganga. These facts were forgotten in the modern development process, which became very rapid in the 1980s and 1990s. Information on floodable land was forgotten or disregarded by the policy makers and users, as Sri Lanka experienced a dry phase in its climate in the 1980s and 1990s. One of the authors was alarmed on a visit to his old village area at Ratnapura in 1998 after a lapse of about 10 years, when he witnessed that the floodable area was thickly covered with housing of all types. This was a disaster in the making as Kalu Ganga will always come back to its pre-prepared flood plain during its high flows. The frequency of this return of Kalu Ganga is fairly regular and repeats around 25, 50 and 100year floods. Almost all the landslides originate from heavy saturation of 59 slope material. However, human activities like over loading
of a slope with a thin weathered regolith or unconsolidated soil cover can also initiate landslides under heavy rainfall conditions. Both these have contributed to landslides in this disaster. Quarrying may have contributed, but if only the regolith was too thin in which case the planning and environmental authorities should have recommended that the area is unsuitable for building or any other human activity. There is news about slow pace of draining of floodwater and this is due to sedimentation of micro waterways and sub streams, which prevent outward flow in the flood plain. Ratnapura has no drainage system, which can cope with its own daily drainage, not to talk of flood drainage. This applies to all our towns and cities, where smell reign. The poor drainage or sedimented waterways is again a result of poor policy application and maintenance of environmental law. One of the authors read a paper on dangers of sedimentation of waterways recently at a seminar funded by a donor organization and its local area organizers, early this year, pointing out the real dangers of sedimentation of waterways with local monitored examples. One of the more informed Ministers in the present government was interested in a proposal submitted by the same author about a year ago, but it is yet to materialise into action. As we know, the Pavithra Ganga programme has faced many obstacles due to disregard of scientific information. Only a long-term (minimum of 50 years) programme will minimize the effect of major flooding and landslides. As the wet areas of Sri Lanka are going to be wetter and dry areas are going to be drier and annual average damage from these hazards may be about a billion rupees. This may rise if we are going to experience a major flood every 25 years. A fair estimate of 50 billion rupees damage has occurred in the present flood. Another 5 to 10 billion loss of income is yet to come from loss of farm crops and tree crops. The number of affected families by this flood is 162,800 (Ministry of Social Welfare, 2003). It is time now that the policy makers listen to scientific advice on settlement planning, location and housing. An attempt to conduct this type of programme was disregarded by the Government and foreign loan and aid agencies many a time. One of the authors who has wide experience in natural hazard studies has warned of this type of occurrence first in 1977 in a study of upper Mahaweli, funded by UNDP and Ministry of Plan Implementation and as recent as 2002 March has submitted a long-term work programme to the Government of Sri Lanka, SIDA and Sarvodaya and waiting for a response. As Hancock, Nyerere and Bala Usman have indicated in their writings, the polity of natural hazard is that the relief is cheaper and 60 profitable for international agencies than the establishment of
a long-term programme. The relief creates an avenue for the policy makers and administrators to get rich continuously as Bala Usman has observed in relation to corruption discovered in the relief programmes of 1983 drought in Africa, which involved some United Nations staff and Multinational companies. However, developed countries from where these organizations originate have used draconian measures to organize the natural and settled environment through application of laws and regulations and invested heavily on canalization of rivers, control of household area erosion and sedimentation and use of concrete, bitumen and other chemical layers etc to control flooding and landslides. Visits to their countries reveal that dams and weirs of various sizes and designs and even laying of stones on river beds and banks have been employed without much concern of the natural value of the area, but making the riverside safe. They hide their large dams in the mountainous areas fairly inaccessible to the visitor or cover it with a scenic arrangement through reforestation. Research into culture and financial management is important only if the living environment is free of its most damaging natural disasters. Though we cannot stop them we have the scientific knowledge to control them and bring the impact to a level, which will not affect the economy of a region or a country. As one of the authors has already proposed since 1990s, a household based environmental conservation programme must be initiated immediately to avoid more disasters of this nature. The same author wishes to inform the policy makers and public that the catchments of Maha Oya and Deduru Oya are also seriously eroded in the upper reaches and sedimented in the lower reaches. A climatic occurrence similar to that which happened in the Denawaka Valley moving across this catchment may cause a similar disaster. The long-term data indicate the south-west monsoon is slowly shifting its path in a North-North-West direction and this may bring a cloud mass and block it between the Matale-Ambokka ranges and the lower ranges of North-western plains resulting in a massive rain storm. This will create a condition conducive to a major flood. Recent research indicates that rainfall intensities in the intermediate zone are increasing rapidly and North-easterlies are associated with heavy rain in this region. A recent 'Discovery' programme on the future has indicated a major destruction of human civilization may arise from environmental disasters than from a nuclear war. Floods, tornadoes, cyclones and droughts in the range of 2 to 3 trillion US dollars have proved this correct by the total damage to Europe and USA in the last decade. Are we really heading for an environmental disaster of a mega proportion was the final question of that programme.
We in Sri Lanka have to suffer heavy economic damage amounting to about 30 billion rupees to bring back the areas to operational level and according to popular news, it may take about one third of our budgetary allocations this year to fully rehabilitate the damage over a period of five years. Will we be able to sustain this programme in case of continuing natural disasters? The answer is no. We have to follow the scientific evidences and be ready for the future. All the developed countries have mega plans to face the impending natural disasters. They have food, medical supplies and service stocks in hand with disaster prediction, control and management organizations. Please begin a long-term restructuring of environment in the hazardous zones.
A proposal for a environment management plan for present linear settlement system (H.M.M.B. and Siddhisena, K.A.P., Control of Sedimentation of waterways through a household based programme, Relating environment to Regional Development, Programme and Abstracts, USJ-Sida/SAREC Research Cooperation Project and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Joint International Conference , 15 to 16th September, 2002, Trans Asia, Colombo) The primary objective of this paper is to present the available information on the value of household empowerment in the regional development, with special reference to the problem of sedimentation and its effect on regional and national development of Sri Lanka. The secondary objective is to present the experiences gained in this area of research and forms a strategy in the control of sedimentation, at the household level. The alternative development as presented succinctly by Friedmann (1992), indicates the importance of household in the modern development process. The household and the farmland are identified as the major sediment supplier to the sedimentation system. Home gardens of Sri Lanka are poorly organized to prevent the flow of sediments to the local network of drains. In turn the authorities poorly maintain the local network of drains responsible for the prevention of soil erosion. The rapid increase in the population of the farming areas of Sri Lanka has increased the housing density of these two villages by an average of 30 to 40 percent in the last decade, but the removal of excess water produced by pavementation has not been considered important. The paper will attempt to forward a long term program, which is aimed at reducing the maintenance cost of regional authorities on roads, minor irrigation works and increase the environment value through improved water situation which is hoped to be achieved through household based sedimentation control program. 62
The increased severity of climatic events has become a norm at present and a new vision into disaster control has to be established. Can Figure 2.4 provide a better answer? The people oriented disaster management system or PODS is expected to 1. Gather information at local level and disseminate them through a community based graduate personnel trained in environmental management. Why environmental management? One of the major failures in disaster control originates from lack of understanding of the holistic view on disaster in the existing system of disaster management in the developing countries. Holistic view is the only way to understand better the present conflict between man and environment, where natural and societal hazards occur in a heavily built-up environment. Environment is no more a physical unit as it is over-utilised to provide food, shelter and clothing to rapidly increasing population. Therefore the societal organization of the environment has become a major controlling variable in disaster management. This holistic view is present only in modern environmental management where societal factor is taken into consideration as a resource both with strengths and threats. In developing country scenario there are more societal threats than strengths in the system of disaster management due to problems related to socio-political corruption. Community based graduate personnel should be allowed to operate as a strength to the operational system if PODS is to be a success. (Figure 3.4 next page) For example these personnel will be attached to the District Secretary‟s office within the present administrative system of Sri Lanka. Information gathering on individual settlement units within the population unit selected can be conducted with the aid of village officer (Gram Niladhari). However, the present administrative and political authority may have some undue restriction on the establishment system, which has to be removed through new legislation. The collection of disaster risk information has to be valued very high as economic losses incurred by various types of disasters in Sri Lanka are on the increase. As this book is written with the concept of disaster extended to include an event resulting also from negligence due to failure to establish democratic institutions, socio-political corruption and non-adherence to scientific ways of development, any undue pressures of from the existing system of governance can become a problem to this new disaster management system. Therefore, initial step in the establishment of this system should call for better legal powers to disaster management. Therefore all the steps forwarded in this book on the PODS system are based on the concept that it will be properly supported.
Figure 3.2 in next page indicate the composition of new disaster management
People Oriented Disaster Management System - PODS
Emergency Director (Military)
Security Local director – a Graduate in Environmental Management for a population of 2000 Non-government Agencies Any other
The unit of operation under the community based graduate who is the local director is a population unit of 2000 people or as restricted by any environmental factor and specialty required. Under normal situations this unit will collect scientific and other types of information from government and academic agencies on the probable occurrence of disasters in the unit and the surrounding units which can affect the unit. The unit can also collect information from NGO‟s and any other organizations involved in disaster management. In case of a disaster the responsibility of this unit may be transferred to the National Disaster management Military Command which will be decided by the advice of the unit by the President. Government Agency This unit provides all material and financial resources required for the operation of the unit. The financial support will also come from a unit insurance system operated by the local directorate, which is funded by a monthly, seasonal or annual levy from the people living in the unit, who will use the insurance system in the process of rehabilitation after disaster. However, disaster may be a very rare event in some units which can utilize their insurance funds for disaster prevention and environmental planning. Academic Agency Academic agency is to provide a risk analysis of the unit on a regular basis with reference to its natural and societal environment. This is primarily a task of the university system which environmental science and management students will be the field information collectors.
Disaster management in Sri Lanka Disaster management in Sri Lanka will be discussed in this chapter within the context of understanding of environmental change in developing countries, where there is a difficulty in the application of holistic concept of disaster management. However, the present situation of Sri Lanka will be evaluated within the strict regime of scientific approach available to the researcher. The present system of disaster management in Sri Lanka is primarily a disaster response system, where the management system begins to operate at the onset of disaster. However, there are a few organizations which collect data and issue warnings on impending disasters, but lack of application of scientific method on disaster management and coordination between these organizations prevents reducing the impact of disaster. Research on scientific method Developing countries of the world suffer continuously from nonutilization of scientific method in development, which makes them highly incapable of handling disasters. Development scientists have presented many reasons for this weakness and lack of democratic institutions has been noted as the main contributory factor. Though there are democratically elected governments in most of the developing nations these institutions are noted for many corrupt practices which affect scientific management of resources. The scientific method of disaster management has to be operated on many steps as presented below. Management Management provides the best possible way of reducing the loss of life and property from a disaster. However, most of the management practises recommended by the disaster manager will not be applicable if the required infrastructure is not provided, education programmes are not conducted and societal participation is not activated.
Until such time PODS is operational communities can collectively work for a warning system in their localities. The best available organization is the village based Funeral Help Societies, which are a highly successful system in collection and utilization of local resources. Most of these societies are operated by people with dedication to work and honesty, which helps the needy at a serious time of crisis. However the identification, prevention and control has to be conducted with the help of experts who can be selected from the nearby universities and technical colleges. This connection between experts and locality is now linked to a government institutional system, which has only a very limited presence in the local area due to their poor operation management system. For example climatic disasters cannot be predicted properly as there is no proper coverage of weather stations at district level and lack of funding for collection of data. Further, the lukewarm attitude of the governing authorities towards disaster control has also reduced support for these services.
The basic steps in disaster management are given in Table 4/1 and 4/2 in summary form. Table 4.1 Basic steps in disaster management -* risk level – see Appendix
Management step Identify the hazard/s Research and monitoring Taking control and if possible preventive measures (remember no disaster can be fully controlled, but proper management techniques can be used to minimise loss of life and property) Concurrent activity Use of scientific method to identify the disaster/ study the nature, recurrence/ risk level */ Long term scientific data collection and monitoring/ listening to local sources/ listening to traditional belief systems should not be forgotten/ Control – There are some control measures, which can be taken to minimise the risk of any type of disaster. Most of the damages resulting from landslides, flood and accelerated erosion can be controlled through proper settlement and infrastructure planning. This will reduce the risk to less than 10 percent (Eg. All the developed countries have done this through education supported by strict adherence to environmental law) Accelerated erosion, deforestation, desertification, flood and landslides can be controlled with – proper land management and settlement planning Corruption, gluttony and sadism can be controlled by honest administration Conflict, riot and war can be controlled by developing proper socio-political understanding Prevention – Most of the damages resulting from landslides, flood and accelerated erosion can be prevented through proper settlement and infrastructure planning. This will reduce the risk to less than 10 percent (Eg. All the developed countries have done this through education supported by strict adherence to environmental law)
Table 4.2 Basic steps in disaster management
Management step Preparation Concurrent activity Preparation Prepare the society to listen to warning system – radio/TV/ and local organisation mobile telephone link or radio link/ rehearse evacuation plan/ select local immediate response team. In here local social/ medical, engineering/ security resources must be used Prepare the emergency supplies in the nearest possible place to the disaster – dry rations, clean water, clothing, baby food, essential medicine and portable equipment required for search and rescue ( in bunkers/ high ground shelters) Security forces for immediate response Search, rescue and medical aid Relief supply system Temporary shelters Temporary communications Armed forces on alert See below3 Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter Education, organisational frame work (specially the local societal organisations), financial resources, evacuation, shelter
Facing the disaster Rehabilitation (from regional and national funding) Recovery (from regional and national funding) Stabilisation and (from regional and national funding) rebuilding
Identification of disaster situation: Science and Signs Scientific evaluation of possible disaster situations are conducted using the available scientific knowledge. The type and amount of scientific knowledge required for a disaster is decided on the type and dynamics of a disaster. Collection and analysis of disaster data has to be conducted by experts in the respective field of science. Most of these facilities are available in the developed countries, but in the developing world this system is yet to be fully established (Table 4.1 and 4.2). Each type of hazard is associated with its own set of signs, which have been noted by the elders and kept in the community through storage in folklore or myth. Some of these signs have been associated to following systems which are not truly scientific, but has been accepted by post modernity thinking as valuable and sometimes valid. Dreams – there is a belief that dreams indicate danger Sense – there is a belief that telepathy and other unexplained super naturals signal danger Behaviour of other living beings – have to be taken seriously Behaviour of underground water, rock strata and the surface is important Astrological predictions are useful Personal predictions may be valid Warnings given by elders have value There is a continuous struggle between science and belief in the modern world in relation to disasters. Our primary investigation is based on scientific concepts, but in the study of disaster and facing disaster in a poor country like Sri Lanka value of the belief system cannot be forgotten. It is because the information and recovery systems associated with disaster are extremely weak due to non-adherence to scientific method. Therefore this book is not only written as a text book for my students, but also as an information system to all who wanted to believe that traditional knowledge is valid at all times and can be added to existing scientific knowledge to save lives and property in disaster.
Table 4.3 Flood – identification of causative environment
Long term contributory Short term contributory factors factors Unplanned forest clearance Unplanned settlement Unplanned environment High intensity rainfall Poor local drainage Weir collapse Landslide Water mains burst Water tanker accident Reservoir collapse
Flood (Tables 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5) Long term contributory factors – Rivers are the transporters of excess water which cannot be stored in soil and rock at the surface of the earth. Depending on the rainfall regime of its basin rivers have a set system of flows, identified by hydrologists as low, average and high. High flow is further divided into bank full, flood and disastrous flood. In the warm regions of the world river basin is used heavily for the establishment of settlements and farm land. Rapid rise in population in the last 20 years have led to living on river banks and lowlands around river. In the same period changes in global and regional climate has increased rainfall intensity resulting in short duration heavy rainfall. These two factors have increased the disasters related to flood all over the world, but lack of proper environmental planning and proper insurance systems has increased the risk of flood in developing countries than in the developed countries. The risk of flood in developing countries is increased mainly due to lack of proper environmental planning. Within this status unplanned forest clearance is the major contributory factor as it guides excess water rapidly to the river channel as lowering of forest cover prevents proper storage in soil and rock. However, forests are an essential part of human life and it is extremely difficult to protect forests without a long term environmental plan as it is conducted in the developed world. Concepts of protection, conservation and harvesting are utilised in unison to protect forests in developed countries. Therefore the developing countries have to follow the success of developed countries utilising their scientific and regulatory measures.
Table 4.4 Flood - Understanding long-term contributory factors Long term contributory factors Unplanned forest clearance Unplanned settlement Unplanned environment Remedy Situation in Sri Lanka
National environmental plan with proper scientific and regulatory measures. Forest harvesting with preservation of Strict Natural Reserves. Risk analysis used in the selection of area for settlement construction. Use legislation to establish proper drainage. Risk analysis used in the selection of area for settlement construction. Use legislation to establish proper drainage.
Poor and destructive due lack of application in regulatory measures. Poor and destructive due lack of application in regulatory measures. Poor and destructive due lack of application in regulatory measures.
Table 4.5 Flood - Understanding short-term contributory factors Short-term contributory factor High intensity rainfall Poor local drainage Landslide Remedy Listen to advice of scientists engaged in research on climatic change, collect data on regional and local rainfall in detail. Plan drainage to suit changing climate and construction, provide emergency drainage system in all the settlements, keep all the drains and sewers in working order, use legislation to establish proper drainage. Early warning systems for landslides, removal of rock debris from slopes and stream beds, cleaning stream beds and strengthening of stream banks, proper road designs. use legislation to establish proper drainage. Monitor weirs correctly, use legislation to establish proper drainage. Monitor water mains correctly, use legislation to establish proper drainage. Monitor mechanics correctly, use legislation to establish proper drainage. Monitor reservoir system correctly, use legislation to establish proper drainage.
Weir collapse Water mains burst Water tanker accident Reservoir collapse
Present status of damage from various types of floods in Sri Lanka is extremely high due to not understanding the longterm and short-term contributory factors. The special contributory factor for the increase in disasters related to flooding results from nonchalant attitude towards scientific knowledge and legislation. Further, very poor environment literacy among the populace, non-utilisation of graduates trained with proper field experiences produced by local universities and domination of public disaster management by non-scientists has led to continuing increase in disasters related to floods. Landslides (Tables 4.6, 4.7 and 4.8) Landslide is the common name given too many types of slope failures which is an essential part of nature in the construction of slopes. Therefore they occur all the time and in recent years with an increasing intensity as a result of climatic change and settlement and road design failures. Depending on the rainfall regime landslides have a set system of flows, identified by geologists and geomorphologists as seasonal and local. Seasonal flow is associated with heavy rainfall in the areas of steep slopes... In the warm regions of the world mountain slopes are used without proper stabilisation for the establishment of settlements and farm land. Rapid rise in population in the last 20 years have led to living on unstable slopes and artificially constructed slopes. In the same period changes in global and regional climate has increased rainfall intensity resulting in short duration heavy rainfall. These two factors have increased the disasters related to landslides all over the world, but lack of proper environmental planning and proper insurance systems has increased the risk of landslides in developing countries than in the developed countries. The risk of landslide in developing countries is increased mainly due to lack of proper environmental planning. Within this status unplanned forest clearance is the major contributory factor as it guides excess water rapidly to the river channel and
undercut slopes rapidly and leads to rapid bank and rock collapse. However, forests are an essential part of human life and it is extremely difficult to protect forests without a long term environmental plan as it is conducted in the developed world. Concepts of protection, conservation and harvesting are utilised in unison to protect forests in developed countries. Therefore the developing countries have to follow the success of developed countries utilising their scientific and regulatory measures.
Table 4.6 Landslide - identification of causative environment Level Long term Short term contributory contributory factors factors Landslide Unplanned forest clearance Unplanned settlement Unplanned Poor knowledge of public environment sector institutions on slope stability High intensity rainfall Poor local drainage Use of unstable slopes Blocked stream beds Undercutting of river banks Poor road designs Disregard for scientific principles in construction on slopes
Table 4.7 Landslides- Understanding long-term contributory factorsLong term contributory factors Unplanned forest clearance Unplanned settlement Unplanned environment Remedy Situation in Sri Lanka
National environmental plan with proper scientific and regulatory measures. Forest harvesting with preservation of Strict Natural Reserves. Risk analysis used in the selection of area for settlement construction. Use legislation to establish proper drainage. Risk analysis used in the selection of area for settlement construction. Use legislation to establish proper drainage.
Poor and destructive due lack of application in regulatory measures. Poor and destructive due lack of application in regulatory measures. Poor and destructive due lack of application in regulatory measures.
Table 4.8 Landslides- Understanding short-term contributory factors
Short-term contributory factor High intensity rainfall Poor local drainage Remedy Listen to advice of scientists engaged in research on climatic change, collect data on regional and local rainfall in detail. Plan drainage to suit changing climate and construction, provide emergency drainage system in all the settlements, keep all the drains and sewers in working order, use legislation to establish proper drainage. Listen to advice of scientists engaged in research on local geology climatic change, collect data on regional and local rainfall in detail. Utilise modern systems of stream bed management, use legislation to establish proper drainage Utilise modern systems of stream channel management, use legislation to establish proper drainage Utilise modern systems of road designs, use legislation to establish proper drainage Listen to advice of scientists engaged in research on local geology climatic change, collect data on regional and local rainfall in detail.
Use of unstable slopes Blocked stream beds Undercutting of river banks Poor road designs Disregard for scientific principles in construction on slopes
Traffic accidents (Tables 4.9 and 4.10) Traffic accidents are considered in this book as the primary disaster in Sri Lanka, because damage from traffic accidents is the second most damaging disaster in terms of lives lost and material loss after war. As in all the other developing countries traffic accidents, in Sri Lanka results primarily from institutional corruption as traffic laws are not Table 4.9 Traffic accidents and remedies Action Percent Remedy responsible for fatal accidents collected from 613 media reports for one year Speeding by big 41 Legal actions commercial vehicles Illegal registration 19 of vehicles Poor road designs, without pedestrian way and crossings under or over road in busy points Poor driving habits of small vehicles (Three Wheelers and motor bicycles) Use of pedestrian area for commercial purposes Pedestrian nonchalance (not following road rules) 14 Legal actions
administered properly by all the responsible authorities. This has led to a list of miseries, and remedies are proposed in Table 4.9. The surprising element in the analysis of traffic accidents in Sri Lanka is that there is no relationship between observed literacy and driver behaviour. Observed literacy of the population in Sri Lanka is above 90 percent, but the density of fatal accidents (ratio between number of vehicles: number of fatal accidents) is one of the highest in the world. The institutional corruption is given as a reason for this incompatibility by many researchers during informal interviews. Field survey revealed that most of the drivers without any base of education level commit many trivial mistakes in driving, like irregular parking, park and chat on road, no proper understanding of the capacity of vehicle, joy ride etc., which are the four most common factors forming non-fatal accidents. The only remedy for this serious threat to life and property has to be controlled only through legal actions like it is conducted in the developed world. Some developed countries have begun to use video systems and unmarked police cars for the control of traffic systems, which have drastically reduced the density of fatal and serious traffic accidents in their countries. However, the belief of many interviewed is that the traffic situation is related to inherent corruption in the institutional system in Sri Lanka, which has not shown any improvement in the last 20 years.
Table 4.10 Survey conducted with information from many traffic police officers Activity Mean/charged percent out of total as remembered for a period of 6 months Irregular parking Parking which 23 restricts free flow of traffic Park and chat on Park covering a 16 road side of road and have a chat Capacity In taking curves 12 knowledge and turn around or overtaking not using the full capacity of the vehicle Joy ride Ride slowly even 08 when the road in front of vehicle, because having a chat or using a cell phone Description
Drought Drought is considered the most damaging disaster in the developing world as it silently kills many people whose deaths are recorded under medical reasons and forgotten. Impact of malaria, dysentery and AIDS are strongest in the areas where drought has a permanent presence. In addition low income drought affected communities have a high prevalence of serious respiratory diseases (Seneviratne, 2003 and Discovery, 2006). Then it is believed widely suicide, eloping of girl children and joining armed forces is also related to low income generated by drought in the farming communities of Sri Lanka (Seneviratne, 2003). Though there may be no direct
connection between drought and many sociological phenomena in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, there is a visible relationship between low income and many of the variables given in the above discussion. The following case study is presented for further explanations. CPA 5 A case of disease and environment:: Migrants of Mahaweli System C (Senviratne, 2003 b) – effect of climate and poor planning The area designated as System C is the largest single resettlement programme in the Mahaweli Development Project in Uva, Eastern and North Central Provinces of Sri Lanka, where malaria is endemic and many other infectious diseases prevail due to poor quality living environment and drinking water. The home villages are a group of rural settlements located in the wet zone of Sri Lanka, which is comparatively healthy and malaria free. The detailed statistical tests conducted on the two different environments confirmed that the environment at Mahaweli System C is more hazardous than the home villages (Seneviratne, 2003). Further this presentation will reveal the effect of natural (climate) and man made hazards (corruption) in a resettlement programme. There were 20,674 farming families and another about 6000 non-farmer families living within the boundaries of System C in 1998. The estimated total population was 126,758 in 1998 with a gross per capita income of Rupees 2134 and Rupees 102,000 gross income per household. The System C area was settled in a sequence from south to north between the Right Bank main canal and Mahaweli River. It was initially divided into five zones, 9 blocks and about 90 villages. The zone 1 was comprised of the old irrigation schemes under Mapakada, Dambarawa and Horabora tanks, which was incorporated into the System C. The zone 2 was established in 1981, zone 3 in 1982, zone 4 in 1983 and zone 5 in 1988. An additional zone was established in 1989 in the north eastern sector of the System C.
Table 4.11 Major problem as given by respondents (multiple responses)
Major problem Market facilities High cost of inputs Drinking water Difficulty of getting investment finance Emergency medical facilities Employment for Children Alcoholism Our poverty Poor soil condition of the high land plot Respiratory diseases Lack of provision to cultivate what we want Neglect by the Mahaweli Development Authority and the government War No 90 90 68 57 34 23 22 19 17 16 14 10 5 Percent 100 100 72 60 36 24 23 20 18 17 15 11 5
As shown in Table 4.11, scarcity of drinking water, poor soil condition and disease are directly related to drought in this region. An average of 33percent of the farmers has been affected by these three hazardous situations continuously, which indicate that the drought has reached the disaster status in their lives. The return migration and new arrivals The discussion on coping indicates that many have made a serious attempt to adjust and adapt to the new environment, but some have not been able to cope with the situation for many social and personal reasons. At the time of the survey, the number of children schooling in the home village or having left for employment recorded a value of 23 percent. The lack of immunity to malaria and effect of chronic skin disease has resulted in keeping two children and one wife respectively in the home village with the siblings.
Seven percent of the farmers, who could not cope with the difficulties, have begun a life in two places. They have built a small mud house and stay at System C during the planting and harvesting seasons and the family lives permanently in the home village, where the wife and some of the children are employed in various types of unskilled and semi-skilled jobs.
These families have built a small house on ancestral land, with the use of income generated from the System C, as they have a very cordial relationship with their siblings. Further the household heads in this category practise a craft, which is valued in the home village. This group was represented by a mason, carpenter, gem miner, farm terrace builder, construction site labourer, a rubber latex tapper and „an edura‟ (faith healer). The reason given for securing land at System C was stated as to be given to a child or children. Between the time of the beginning of the survey and the last visit in April 2000, three of these families have finally left after leasing their land for an undisclosed number of years for sums varying between 150, 000 rupees to 230, 000 rupees. Though, this practise is illegal, the demand for land from the children of the well established farmers at System C and the farmers migrating from the war affected areas, have enabled this group of farmers to receive a high financial gain. The residents of System C believe that the high demand for land in the new settlement originates from the consistency in water supply for farming and a daily express bus linkage to all the home villages. Therefore, many Mahaweli employees and civil servants have begun to acquire land and become permanent residents. The discussions conducted with the officials of the area revealed that about 300 to 400 working and retired minor officials and some senior officials have obtained land for housing only or housing and farming through lease, administrative and political support or on the preferential allocation to former public servants. The researcher managed to meet a senior official who has acquired land through preferential allocation to former public servants and built a house and a shop unit with a view of retiring at System C.
Social cost of coping: a limited evaluation The data gathered from all types of survey methodologies indicate the social and personal problems arising from resettlement at System C. The continuing survey and the trust developed between the researcher and the respondent enabled
the researcher to collect a lot of private information on the coping process. The one-month continuous stay during the third visit to System C enabled the researcher to be part of their life. I have managed to stay with them in their farms and sleep in their houses and offer a ride in my vehicle. The observations made during these encounters indicate that the life style of the resettlement farmer has not changed much from the researchers own experience in 1963, but I have a notion that, the large scale settlement plan of the System C area has definitely helped to construct a more complex society than in most other resettlement units of the past. It is clear that most of the continuing settlers have suffered heavily from isolation, malaria and other infectious diseases like typhoid and viral hepatitis, crop failure, but as they collectively indicate, that they have stayed on, because they were strong enough to bear the suffering. Table 4.12 records the indebtedness of five farming families caused by ill health. These farmers were not discouraged by the indebtedness and are working with determination to succeed. The human loss and social cost between the times of arrival to the time of survey, as explained as a result of migration is listed in Table 9.10. The data collected from home villages are also presented with a view to compare the intensity of social disturbance due to migration.
Table 4.12 The indebtedness of the respondents due to disease as recorded during the survey
Disease Asthma Cancer (died during the last visit) Cancer Expenditure About 300 monthly A total of 25,000
Source of funding Part-time mechanic Part of the wetland was leased
A total 40,000
Private bank mortgage on the wetland. The children have willingly stopped schooling and cultivating extra land to repay the debt. Sons help the family to pay medical bills and have delayed their marriage. One of the sons joined the armed forces to support the family Part-time labourer
Suicides recorded among the mature adults in both areas were associated with excessive alcohol consumption, which led to drinking of pesticide and accidental hanging while heavily intoxicated with alcohol. One case of suicide in the home villages of a 17-year-old female was related to a failed love affair. Though there is no record of teenage suicide in the sample population at System C, the researcher attended a funeral of a 19-year-old female in a nearby village, during the field programme. The case of drowning at System C occurred due to burial in quick sand, while the respondent was wading across River Mahaweli on a hunting expedition. The higher level of health risks at System C is clearly indicated in Table 9.10. Most of these sicknesses are associated with malaria or asthma, which began to occur among the respondents since their arrival in System C. The impact of the higher social disturbance due to dislocation of the life pattern is clearly shown in the data, with the categories of eloping of girl children, unwanted marriage, divorce and eloping of wife record only at System C. This type of social problems led to the identification of resettled people as a group of relocated people by Sørensen (1996), who investigates some of the intricate social disturbances in the resettlement programme in Sri Lanka. It is her belief that these disturbances arise mainly due to isolation, lack of other entertainment activities, unemployment of school leavers and excessive alcohol use of the householder. A few older respondents related acute asthma in children and increased number of cancers, which they refer to as special sicknesses, to the rising level of air and water pollution in the home villages. The majority of migrants utilise all the resources available to them to cope with life at System C and establish a better health situation in the family. Burdened with poverty of the nation and themselves, they have a limited range of coping capability to overcome most of the problems of the physical and human environment like endemic malaria, construction of good quality housing, improve conditions of farming and social security. There are minor differences between individual farming families and the overall scenario of coping is similar to the strategies adopted by similar groups of people elsewhere in the resettlement programme as observed by many researchers.
The ability to cope therefore is decided upon by factors like skills in auxiliary employment, income generated by their children and loss of income through sickness and disease. It is clear from the data presented those problems related to ill health and disease has an important impact on the coping with life at System C. Health has played a very important role as indicated by the majority of the farmers in their attempt to cope with life at System C.
The coping with health and disease was troublesome at the beginning and difficult at present. However most of the farmers have managed to overcome the serious threat of disease principally aided by the reduction in the incidence of malaria and increased availability of health service facilities during the last 10 years. Though, the ability of the farming families to cope with their health and other problems are primarily influenced by the constraints formed by location and the institutional indecision on the strategies of resettlement management, most of them have managed to live a life of a poor farmer.
References Amerasinghe, F.P. and Indrajith, N.G. (1994) Post-irrgation breeding patterns of surface water mosquitoes in the Mahaweli Project, Sri Lanka, and comparison with preceding development phases, Journal of Madical Entomology, 31, 4. Baker, V.J. (1999), A Sinhala village in Sri Lanka, Coping with uncertainty, Harcourt Brace and Co., Fortworth. Department of Health, 1996, Annual Health Bulletin, Colombo, Sri Lanka. De Vroey, M. and Shanmugaratnam, N. (1984), Peasant resettlement in Sri Lanka, Tri Star. Farmer, B.H. (1957), Peasant Colonisation in Sri Lanka, Cambridge University Press. Continental Center, Lonvai-LaNeave. Lund, R. (1989) Women in the Mahaweli Area, A feminist Assessment, Paper for CENWOR, March, Colombo. Sørensen, B.R. (1996), Relocated Lives, VU University Press, Amsterdam
The details in the above presentation can be summerised as follows 1. Drought is continuous even after irrigated water has been supplied to the area. 2. Drought cannot be averted without a proper environmental planning, where crop diversification, forest harvesting and bio-energy production can be utilised to diversify farmer economy. 3. It is only a long term (10 to 15 year) scientific environmental plan and an employment diversification process will absorb the additional population in the area which will drastically reduce the effect of drought.
Table 4.13 Human loss and social cost of migration to new settlement as compared with the home villages (multiple responses)
Area System C - n = 90 loss of life with reason drowning - 1 suicide 1 sickness 1 social cost with the occurrence eloping of children – 4 unwanted marriage - 2 divorce - 2 sickness due to change of environment - 27 eloping of children – 1 unwanted marriage - 0 divorce - 0 special sickness due to environmental change - 3
Home villages – n= 90
drowning - 0 suicide – 2 sickness - 4
Table 4.14 Drought - Understanding long-term contributory factors Long term contributory factors Climatic change Deforestation Spring recession Poor crop diversification systems Poor employment diversification systems Dependence on outdated economic measures Non utilisation of environmental planning systems Remedy Situation in Sri Lanka
Scientific study Application of scientific harvesting system Application of scientific harvesting system Application of crop diversification systems
Poor study programmes Poor application Non utilisation Non utilisation
Provision of marketing facilities
Provision of marketing facilities
Application of harvesting systems
Table 4.15 Drought - Understanding short-term contributory factors
Short term contributory factors Poor water management system Poor cropping systems Inefficient agricultural advisory system Corruption in relief systems
Situation in Sri Lanka
Inform the true situation and real application of knowledge, with farmer participation Inform the true situation and real application of knowledge, with farmer participation Utilise new harvesting knowledge
Still at infancy
Very poorly conducted Yet to be applied
Engage anticorruption systems in place
Need a concerted effort
The other disaster which occur locally in Sri Lanka Tornado Cyclone Thunderstorm Tornado (Tables 4.16 and 4.17) Frequency of tornadoes has increased in the last 10 years which can be related to global climatic change. Therefore, the following programme of work has to be installed for the reduction of damage from tornadoes. Table 4.16 Understanding long-term contributory factors Contributory factor Global climatic change Remedy Study the frequency and localities most vulnerable Settlement planning Situation in Sri Lanka Very few studies and media attention for preparation of society Very limited use of settlement planning Very limited use of settlement planning
Construction on leeward side of major wind streams Construction on valley bottoms
Table 4.17 Understanding short-term contributory factors
Contributory factor Local multi-cell cumulus development
Remedy No remedy
Construction on valley bottom lowlands and wind gaps in the path of multi-cell cumulus clouds
Situation in Sri Lanka Most of these cells develop beneath the rocky slopes bordering the central highland and a detailed monitoring system can be installed using schools Very limited use of settlement planning, detailed monitoring system can be installed using schools
Cyclone (Tables 4.18 and 4.19) Frequency of cyclones have not increased drastically, but low speed cyclonic depressions, which bring heavy rain and localised strong winds have begun to enter the weather scene of Sri Lanka recently. These depressions bring large quantities of rain and finally the result is almost equal to an effect of a cyclone. The October-November deluge in Sri Lanka was due to a depression of this type, which came in place of expected cyclone with a fourteen year recurrence, which was predicted for end October by the author over Rajarata Sevaya programme on environment “Malimawa”. The possibility of floods of Maha Oya and Deduru Oya was also predicted by the author in a presentation in 2003 (Seneviratne and Karunaratne, 2003).
Table 4.18 Understanding long-term contributory factors and damage
Contributory factor El Ninio or La Nina
Remedy Preparation of home gardens, power transmission lines, telecommunication lines, drainage systems to absorb high winds and heavy overland flow in the most vulnerable areas.
Global warming and increased intensity of Equatorial Easterlies
More detailed research on effect of global climatic change on Equatorial Easterlies.
Situation in Sri Lanka Poor observation and data gathering, but recently more attention has been paid to the occurrence of cyclones and depressions. Educating public through more programmes in media. Establishment of a Cyclone warning system at Eastern and Rajarata Universities Poor observation and data gathering, but recently more attention has been paid to the occurrence of cyclones and depressions. Educating public through more programmes in media. Establishment of a Cyclone warning system at Eastern and Rajarata Universities
Table 4.19 Understanding short term contributory factors and damage
Contributory factor Increased surface turbulence due to poor settlement planning Increased risk from high velocity winds due to addition of trees into home garden system
Remedy Settlement planning
Situation in Sri Lanka Poor preparation, data collection and heavy damage is expected in future Poor preparation, data collection and heavy damage is expected in future
Thunderstorm (Tables 4.20 and 4.21) One of the prime indicators of global climatic change is the increased number and intensity of thunderstorms. A twenty year collection of random set of data on thunderstorm occurrence in a village in the intermediate zone of Sri Lanka showed that there is definitely an increase in the intensity of thunderstorms since 1980s (Seneviratne, 2005). Most of the farmers who were interviewed on the increased unreliability of rainfall also have indicated this increased power (intensity) of thunderstorms. Thunderstorm is a short-term
Table 4.20 Understanding contributory factors
Contributory factor Increased surface turbulence due to poor settlement planning Increased risk from high velocity winds and lightning due to addition of trees, power poles and aerials into home garden system
Remedy Settlement planning
Situation in Sri Lanka Poor preparation, data collection and heavy damage is expected in the future Poor preparation, data collection and heavy damage is expected in future
Earth tremor/ Earthquake Table 4.21 Understanding contributory factors Contributory factor Increased plate activity around Sri Lanka land mass Remedy Use of new knowledge on Settlement planning Use of new knowledge on Settlement planning Situation in Sri Lanka Poor preparation, data collection and heavy damage is expected in the future Poor preparation, data collection and heavy damage is expected in the future
Health disasters (Table 4.22) Poverty and behaviour are the major causes of health disasters. Poverty affects all the people of the low income group people in the developing world. Behaviour is an individual factor and its impact is
common in the developed and developing, but higher care level reduces the impact of behaviour on health in the developed world. Ecology and behaviour are studied as causes of disasters in health in this chapter. Climate and animals are the two most important factors of ecology which are responsible for creating disaster through transmission of deadly diseases. Influenza, malaria and cholera are the most common killer epidemic forming diseases which have resulted in millions of deaths. However some viruses in Africa like Ebola and Avian flu in Asia have become a serious threat to health. Today malaria, cholera, encephalitis, schistosomiasis and onechorsiasis are the diseases which cause disaster level amount of deaths in a year. This type of disasters occurs generally in countries with large populations or in the poorest parts of Africa and South America. The tropical humid climate of Sri Lanka facilities the breeding of many types of disease causing agents common to its south Asian neighbours, but the severity of infection is reduced by cultural practices like use of traditional antiseptics, low consumption of raw food and adherence to advice on health. The breeding of agents causing dengue and diarrhoeal and respiratory diseases are always associated with heavy rain, flooding and poor sanitation. The high incidence of rabies in Sri Lanka can be related to nonchalant attitudes in the rearing of dogs and the existence of a large rat population, specially in the urban areas of the country where rabies has been identified as a serious health risk (Ministry of Health, 1996). Behaviour Use of alcohol and other hard drugs, and sexual behaviour create disastrous situations of health in human populations. Many research workers and media publications identify alcohol abuse and alcoholism as two of the major behavioural factors in the increase of health risks in men of Sri Lanka. Hettige (1990) and Wickramasinghe (1993) have given some recent information on this issue though many medical articles appear in the Ceylon Medical Journal regularly. Hettige (1990), indicates that there is an increasing trend of alcohol use in Sri Lanka, which has not been duly recognized by the socio-political institutions. However, the diseases
or deaths originating from alcohol abuse are not recorded properly in the medical records and therefore it is impossible to understand the true effect of alcohol abuse in the Sri Lanka society. It is clear that most of the families with extreme poverty in Sri Lanka are affected by the alcohol abuse of the householder, but the status of the alcohol as a cause or effect cannot be properly understood due to lack of detailed research. AIDS is an example of effect of sexual behaviour on health, which has become global level disaster today. Origin of the AIDS virus is still unknown and care is yet to be found. Countries of the developed and developing are equally affected by AIDS revealing that basic behaviour of people are important in creating health disasters in the world. Health disasters are formed through lack of clean water, contamination of water and air with sewage and decaying corpses and transmitting diseases downstream from the point of origin. However development of powerful antibiotics have limited the effect of this type of disasters recently, but still in some poorest countries of the world the risk of disastrous levels of epidemics occur immediately after a disaster of natural origin like flood, landslide and earthquake. In Sri Lanka this type of disasters are very rare due to rapid response of the public sector health officials and low distant to any source of disaster. This accessibility factor in a comparatively small island has actually lifted Sri Lanka to a better health status than its neighbours. Today Sri Lanka suffer seriously form the following health disasters due to inefficient preventive services. However media reports reveal that health illiteracy, lack of scientific environmental planning, nonimplementation of legislation is the major cause of epidemics in Sri Lanka (Table 4.22)
Table 4.22, Disease and disease environment as reported in media and sometimes confirmed by health authorities* Disease Cholera – 1998 Rabies (continuous) Malaria (continuous) Cause Contaminated food from poorly kept hotel* Lack of enforcement of law on domesticated animals / environment illiteracy of society and planning authorities. Lack of safe drinking water (due to corruption in development plans)and poor preventive services* (Seneviratne, 2003) / environment illiteracy of society and planning authorities Poor waste and waste water disposal system* in the wet zone urban areas/ environment illiteracy of society and planning authorities. Origin was traced to waste entering Ma Oya above Mawanella* Not yet known More than 30 percent of the patients indicate that they had no basic knowledge on transmission system of the disease* and had multiple sex partners. Virus suspected to be originating from waste and town and city sewers Low conviction rate prevents drug control due to socio-political corruption
Dengue (continuous) Meningitis (2006) Unknown disease in Uva province Sexually transmitted diseases Chikin Gunya Hard Drugs
Ministry of health sources indicate that about 3 billion rupees are spent on treating diseases which originate from low environment literacy in the society as given in table 4.22. The presence of disease at disaster level is linked to poverty and corruption in the developing world. Countries with fair level of income have the capability of maintaining a better health status than today, but financial corruption prevents them from utilising scientific environmental planning to obtain that better status. For example media reports reveal that the poor health status is related to poor level of waste and drainage control as long term plans for cleaner society are not followed in these countries. Literature survey on the health status of developed world reveal that they have carried out large scale filling or draining of wetlands to prevent mosquito borne diseases and use massive quantities of chemical cleaning fluids to clean the drainage system. Most of the researchers in health and development agree (Senevirtane, 2003) that the better health status of the developed is primarily a result of proper environmental planning and enforcement of legislation on waste control. There is a relationship between income and health in both developed and developing but the infectious diseases and nonmalignant chronic diseases are a result of unclean environment.
Table 4.23 Understanding contributory factors
Contributory factor Lack of clean water
Lack of proper waste disposal
Lack of observance of traffic regulations
Situation in Sri Lanka Water resource Poor status, all planning public system water has to be boiled if it is to be safe. Settlement Poor status, planning leading to many bacterial and viral diseases abound today heavy damage is expected in future Efficient Poor due to lack monitoring by law of resources and enforcement corruption
Corruption Corruption is one of the most commonly present societal hazards in the world, but its effect on economic development is widely felt in the developing world. This is because the rate of corruption in public services in these countries seriously affects economic growth and development. Further, corruption rejects the scientific method of development which is the only stable way of development. Therefore developing countries suffer continuously from lack of balanced social development, which leads to continuing damage to both natural and societal environment. This continuous damage to natural and societal environment will increase the effect of disaster in the developing countries, though the whole world is subjected to an increase in natural and societal hazards in the next 50 to 100 years. Most recent estimates indicate that most of the developing countries will suffer serious disasters as they have not utilised environmental planning in their programmes of development.
Special case : Man and the elephant in Sri Lanka The man-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka is a result of poor environmental and settlement planning. The following story of man and the elephant is constructed from the field data collected by our students at Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. One of them ( Herath, 2007) has lived through an elephant attack on their schools, garden and house. Life history records and official records were the major data collection methods. Ratios were assigned to the intensity of the attack, positioning of the attacking elephant, what people were doing when they were attacked by the elephant, and the location of houses in the village. Table of ratios are presented in the Appendix 2.
The research programme revealed the following 1. elephant attacks is a result of scarcity of food in the forest. 2. building settlements across elephant migration pathways have increased the number of attacks. 3. most of the deaths occurred due to taking unnecessary risks 4. elephant attacks are increasing as elephants have develop a taste for paddy and other home garden crops 5. elephant attacks are increasing because the authorities have no ability to take remedial measures through a proper system of environmental planning. Environmental management approach to the problem of elephant attacks Present situation: Elephants have been pressurised heavily from human activities: their food supply is lowered and migration paths have been blocked.
Remedy Humans have to provide food for the elephants and open their old migration paths or construct new paths. Possibility Environmental Management students of the University of Rajarata, Sri Lanka, can work with any organisation for constructing a plan and implementing. Only a detailed environmental plan will be able to solve the problem and not a disintegrated system of various departments and authorities working on this matter. 2006 reported about 60 deaths from elephant attacks and about 80 elephants were killed by humans. This disastrous situation is bound to increase dramatically in the next 20 years as dry zone will be seriously affected by drought resulting from climatic change
Understanding and living through disaster
This is an area with very limited research in disaster management because 1. One disaster is different from an another 2. People always have the belief that disaster will happen to someone and not to self 3. It is extremely difficult to collect experiences as the experiences are associated with trauma and pain.
However, disaster managers have managed to construct some systems in understanding and living through disaster taken mainly from accident investigations conducted in the developed world. One disaster is different from another One disaster is different from another due to many factors. Firstly the differences begin from the wide ranging differences in physical and social space (Table 4.23). For the people in developing countries post-disaster recovery is not continuous
as the social security system is not capable of full rehabilitation and reconstruction. For example the recovery from Katrina in USA is almost complete by the time this book is going to print, but recovery from the Puwakgahawela landslide is yet to be stabilised where only a few farming families lost their livelihood as compared to loss of about 60,00 businesses were reported from Hurricane Katrina. In both disasters the loss of a family member, relative and a friend is felt in the same way and it brings grief and trauma, but in the developing world grief and trauma stays longer as the loss is always attached to economic loss or traditional belief system. Socially, culture plays a great role in differentiating between spaces in which disasters occur. For example in developed countries where disaster management is well established the occurrence of disaster is fairly well predicted and its scientific base is understood by the people who are subjected to disaster. For example in these countries places where disaster can occur are always under surveillance and many scientific measures are taken to reduce the impact of disaster. Once the disaster occurs the necessary management services become active with full force within a short period of time reducing the impact on lives. This is because, public authorities have installed food and medical security before the onset of the disaster season or time with the help of scientific method on disaster management. Developing countries are yet to establish this scientific system of disaster management and suffer heavily from disasters they can reduce damage beforehand. Some examples from Sri Lanka are given below to show the disasters which have occurred due to poor evaluation of disaster capability in the last few years. Tsunami is not included as Sri Lanka had no capability to know of its occurrence due to its extremely low probability given by scientists. However, the author pointed out in his book in 1977 that stories of high wave exist in folk lore in Sri Lanka.
Table 4.23 Difference in disaster
Disaster Factor for high level of destruction Level of Available scientific knowledge at the time of disaster Adequate scientific information was available, but settlement planners have disregarded this information. Adequate scientific information was available, but settlement planners have disregarded this information
2003 Floods and landslides – Kalu, Gin and Nilvala
Unplanned construction on flood plain – (damage estimate 30 billion rupees) Unplanned construction on steep slopes, poor road design and poor roadside drainage – (damage estimate 60 billion rupees) Unplanned construction and poor drainage – damage estimate /annual 5 to 6 billion rupees) Blockage of drains and culverts (annual repair cost –about 5 billion rupees)
2006 floods landslides landslides
Flash floods in towns and cities of Sri Lanka
Road and Roadside destruction in Sri Lanka
Adequate scientific information was available, but settlement planners have disregarded this information Non-enforcement of legislation to maintain drains and culverts
Therefore management of space makes one disaster different from another as some societies are not vigilant and ready to manage its probable disaster scenario as given by scientific information system. People always have the belief that disaster will happen to someone and not to self. Story 21 In the class of 1974 author was questioned by a student on building on the coast, because this student was residing only about 50 meters from the beach. Author responded with the scientific notion on Tsunamis and explained that Tsunami is a possibility in any coast as Plate Movement is a continuing
activity. Author further said that “ coasts of Sri Lanka are situated between two major plate boundaries with Carlsberg Ridge in the west and Pacific-Indo Australian subduction zone in the east, which can propagate powerful earthquakes resulting in Tsuanmis. The student was not convinced and later he has commented to his fellow students that “ how can Tsunamis occur in Sri Lanka that it is so far away from these areas of activity and the author is only being highly theoretical.” This student and his wife lost their lives in the 20041226 south Asian mega Tsunami as his house was completely destroyed. Story 22 When author was conducting the radio programme on hazards and disasters (Seneviratne and Jayantha, 2005a), one grand mother who had the habit of listening to the programme regularly indicated that she decided to remove some tall trees from her garden in fear of tornadoes, because the author has warned of increased intensity of winds in her area. She further informed the author that her neighbour suffered a sizable damage from falling trees, because neighbour did not remove the tall trees adjacent to her house as instructed. Stories 21 and 22 indicate the different approaches to warnings given by scientists on disasters in a developing country. Stories of 20041226 Asian Mega Tsunamis and Hurricane Katrina are full of stories of this nature. The warnings given of possible Tsunamis in Thai coasts led to the removal of the head of meteorological department and about 1000,000 people in New Orleans did not evacuate after the warning of a category 5 or 4 hurricane warning respectively. After the warning of a powerful hurricane was issued, CNN showed a lady in New Orleans responding to their news reporter, and saying “ I have got groceries, I have got water , pray for us” . this is the difference between self in responding to disaster prediction and disaster. However, disaster has to be considered as a serious threat to life today, because of following major factors. a) We are living in an era of rapid climatic and geologic change than we have experienced before.
b) We are living in densely populated areas and the flow of water and wind is different from our past experiences. This is because planning is yet to account for the recent changes in intensity and vigour of these events. c) Predictions are more reliable than in the past due to rapidly developing scientific knowledge It is extremely difficult to collect experiences as the experiences are associated with loss of equipment of the scientists and trauma and pain in the people succumbed to disaster. Collecting information on disaster is one of the major problems of disaster management. This is because most of the disasters carry massive forces of nature or human action which are difficult to be collected using standard machinery or survey methods. For example the National Weather Centre in USA lost their radar and wind wane during hurricane Mitch and was unable to collect the highest wind speeds. Flood warning systems are useless when levees are not properly maintained. However, science is advancing rapidly towards documenting disaster and many developed countries have installed many valuable and reliable systems incorporating equipment with local societal support systems. Universities in these countries are in the forefront of disaster management with the use of their experts and students in collecting data and preparing predictions. However developing nations are yet to implement these advanced systems mainly due to low acceptance of scientific knowledge in daily life. Most of the developing nations do not identify the experiences of their traditional system as a valid form of science, which removes a massive knowledge base from disaster management. For example there is a massive knowledge base of disaster in our ancient Rajarata civilisation, which we have not utilised for present day disaster management. During the time of ancient civilisation settlement was scientifically planned, weva or the reservoir was kept in pristine condition, catchment area was well preserved through a system of environmental
management which limited destruction and loss. This knowledge base has to be accepted because the present day system of human settlement in the developed countries is formed on the ideals similar to that of our ancient civilisation, which reduced disaster to an acceptable level (Refer to CS 1). Trauma and pain of the disaster is the part which cannot be removed from people for a long period of time or until they live. However, what is remembered during the time of facing disaster is highly valuable to emergency services in planning to face the next similar disaster event. Most of the landslide survivours talk of a massive thunder just before the occurrence of the slide. This is the process of massive shear failure, which is today used by scientists to warn of the oncoming slide. The following statements were taken from CNN/BBC/Reality TV/National Geographic TV/ Discovery Channel/ Rupavahini. The 9/11 attack on Pentagon taught us that strengthen glass can save many lives in strategically important buildings (USA). Low and wide concrete walls made compulsory by Malaysian tourism authority saved many lives during the south Asian Mega Tsunami in their country (Malaysia). Listening to the elephants saved many lives in one tourist resort in Thailand (Thailand). Listening to one school teacher saved many lives in eastern Sri Lanka. No large animal in Yala National park was lost to south Asian Mega Tsunami (Rupavahini). The survival in a Tsunami depends on your ability stay afloat (women in Thailand). If your are in the sea deeper than 3 meters dive to the bottom and wait for the wave to pass (4 survivours from Sri Lanka). Do not build on the side of a valley which is clogged up by debris, because these are the areas with high landslide probability ( Swiss expert on CNN). Clean the debris filled mountain streams regularly (Swiss expert on BBC). Disaster is part of human civilisation and learning about disaster requires all types of knowledge and experience. Next a study of risk is presented to the reader.
Table 4.24 Difference in space in disaster Types of physical Percent Impact on space susceptibility livelihood (based on White, 1979) Extremely risky Over 75 percent Extreme Developed world – Developing world - where long where long term social term social security is not available security is availableFelt personal loss with Felt personal loss with heavy heavy loss of income, income loss to the family, but recovery is possible sometimes leading to life time poverty. Felt personal loss with Felt personal loss with income loss some loss of income to the family, with long term poverty. Only personal loss is Felt personal loss with income loss felt as public support is to the family and long term available poverty. Only personal loss is Felt personal loss with income loss felt as public support is to the family and long term available poverty.
50 to 74 percent
25 to 49 percent
Less than percent
Risk analysis Risk: risk is present in all activities we pursue in our daily lives. Risk of environmental hazards cannot be fully calculated because the nature of occurrence varies from one incident to another. Further, the level of risk of an occurrence changes from one society to another. For example people living in coastal areas are generally not fearful of the sea, but inland living people fear sea. In addition people do not think about risk unless there is a threatening situation around and sometimes they think that though there is a risk, it may not be life threatening. These types of attitudes make the scientific value of risk not universally applicable. However the concept behind the scientific notion of risk is to construct a generally acceptable concept of risk using statistical probabilities. In relation to environmental hazards, risks can be categorised as involuntary and voluntary (Smith, 2000). Involuntary risks are the risks, which are undertaken without knowing the severity of the hazard. Living in an earthquake zone or landslide area makes the person to know about the risk, but he cannot fully estimate the risk. This is because the occurrence of these types of events is not fully predictable and they do not occur all the time. Most of the geological risks are in this category. Voluntary risks are the risks taken with a full knowledge of the hazard. For example living on the bank of a river which floods every year makes the resident aware of the risk, but because of lack of land in a safe area leads him to live in a high risk area. All types of societal hazards can be put into this category. Statistical analysis of risk is based on theories of probability and simple equation of R= p x L can be used to calculate risk of an event R is risk p is the probability of the event L is the loss To calculate probability of an event there are many statistical and mathematical procedures, which can be taken from books on statistics. Probability is the chance of occurrence of an event. For example probability of a disastrous flood in Kalu Ganga valley can be calculated from the following information.
Floods in Kalu ganga valley are an annual event and some times there may be two to three minor floods, which submerge the perennial swamps around the river bed and some areas very close to the bank. The probability of these events is therefore Pmf = 3/ 365 once in 121.6 days of the years If these floods stay on for a total of 12 hours (3 minor flood stay for a total time period of 12 hours) the probability in hours under flood is Pmfh = 12 / 365 x 24 =12/8760 = .001 or only once in a thousand hours (.001x1000 gives 1). The easiest way to understand for the society is once in 120 to 130 days a minor flood will occur in the catchment. Then the maximum height of the minor flood can be calculated using the probability and average height of flood. P (probability) is once in 121 days and the average minor flood level calculated for Rathnapura town is around .5 meters above bank full level. Then the probability of the minor flood of 0.3 meters above bank full level is same as the probability of the flood, which is once in 121days. High flood is where the flood level of 0.4 to 0.6 meters above bank full level is reached. A disastrous flood is where the flood level rises to 1 meter above bank full level. The probability of that even is known to hydrologists through the analysis of hydrological data of Kalu Ganga catchment. The flow characteristics of Kalu Ganga between 1956 and 2006 indicate that it has the following flood characteristics (Table 4.24).
Table 4.25 Recurrence of flood at Rathnapura town Flood type Minor - 0.5 ms above bank full High - 0.4 to 0.6 ms above bank full Disastrous – above 1 m. Recurrence interval Every 121 days Every year Once every 25/50/100 years
Then the disaster management plan for Rathnapura can include a system of settlement planning to minimise destruction and damage. The present status is that the authorities and people have not followed any scientific plan and they will continuously suffer from flood damage. The damage expected in the next disastrous flood which may occur in 2028 or will occur earlier than that due to effect of climatic change can be calculated from the data on value of property and life on the floodable area. The damage to life and property in 2003 flood can be taken as a basis for these calculations. Lives lost – 64 Property damage 12 billion rupees Expected rise in the population to 2028 – 1.2 percent (national average) Expected property construction on floodable land to 2028 – 12 percent (this rate was calculated on the basis of field work carried out by students) Then without any environmental plan in action the lives lost in the next disastrous flood will increase by 1.2 percent to about 77 and property damage by 12 percent to 13.4 billion rupees at present rupee value. Implementation of a scientific environmental plan over a period of about 5 years in the area will cost about 10 billion rupees, which will reduce the effect of a disastrous flood by about 5 to 6 billion rupees, and negligible damage by all other types of floods. Then within the time period where a disastrous flood is expected, the authorities have the capability of managing the environment to minimise the impact of disaster.
The probability value therefore gives the expected value and variability of disaster, which is the most important scientific aspect of disaster management. This information is constantly used in business and three stages of risk are available to societies. 1. Risk aversion 2. risk neutral 3. risk loving 1. Risk aversion This is the preference of a low risk environment to a high risk environment. The developed countries are situated in this level, with a highly organised system of disaster prevention and control, which has reduced their loss of life and property damage by about 60 to 70 percent. 2. Risk neutral Almost all the developing countries are in this category with risk is considered as a distant factor, which may or may not affect them. This has led to a massive destruction of life and property in these countries in the last 10 years as global climatic change and geological changes have begun to affect these countries heavily. It is estimated that the developed countries have managed only to save 20 to 30 percent of the lives and property exposed to disaster in their countries. The total estimated damage from disasters indicates that the economies of developing countries have suffer heavily in the last ten years due to lack of environmental planning and poor settlement planning. The case of Sri Lanka is also discussed under risk neutral. Disaster management system in practice in Sri Lanka indicates that majority of the people and institutions are in the category of risk neutral. This is a stage of being indifferent to risks. Recently this attitude has advanced further with the establishment of a free enterprise and experiences of war. Free enterprise without proper
legislation has initiated a “ money chase” environment where corruption is abound and majority of the people feel helpless against risks around them as most of these risks originate due to inefficiency of the application of legislation or order. Though these drawbacks are reported daily in media and in many other information systems high rate of institutional corruption prevent the establishment of a safe environment. Living with war for about 25 years has installed fear in the populace but recently they have developed apathy towards many disastrous situations. The inability of the security forces to stop dangerous material flow is mainly a result of societal corruption where a set of highly corrupt officials, politicians, traders, armed force personal and NGO's have sold their fellow citizens for a few rupees. These two situations are common in all the developing and rarely occur in the developed world. The experiences of the developed world and the countries of the fast developing like Malaysia and China indicate that only by use of strict legislation and taxation these risks can be reduced. 3. Risk loving This is normally present within the domain of personal behaviour in association with events like investment, job selection, and selection of sex partners, spying and adventure. Living in high risk places under disaster conditions is very rare in literate societies, however when environmental literacy is poor people and some times societies can live under these conditions. This type of existence is very common in the developing world where risk is neglected either due to poverty or lack of environmental planning. In Sri Lanka situations like poor road conditions, traffic accidents, delays in government offices, bribe taking and treason can be related to risk loving behaviour. The quantity of media material available in the news papers of Sri Lanka indicate that these activities are on the increase and effect of these activities are felt seriously on the
economy. For example risk loving nature of drivers with low literacy in large vehicles cost about 75 percent of the lives lost and about 3 to 4 billion rupees damage to property and machinery annually. Risk made simple Simple analysis of risk of a disaster in stages is presented below with an aim of simplifying the understanding of risk. Risk is the thought of getting damaged, injured or dead. For example when a child attempts something which is difficult the mother or the adult will tell the child “NO”, “DON‟T” , which is the first command a child receives on risk. Through the constant contact with the mother child learns to identify risk and risky work. This provides the child with various risk levels of various types of environments, work and play. However, child will forget most of the past experiences with risk until the age of 10 or 12 and repeat many risky works and get injured or damage property. The risks which will be faced at this stage are mostly homebound or at school connected to school going. The adolescence brings a child closer to environmental risks outside home and school as the child begins to move among is peer group more than his home people. This is also the great age of experimentation and media reports indicate that a fair amount (about 35 to 45 percent) of children die of risks taken without full knowledge of the disaster during this age. Drowning, bicycle accidents, motor cycle accidents and adventure in the wild are the major causes of these deaths. The youth brings the society closer to a person with many peer groups mixing at work, high school and fun. This is the age of dual responsibility where the self begins to plan for the future, fall in love, help parents and family and keep a constant contact with friends. Youth begins to take environment more seriously than before but experiences with anti social activities or adventure can bring risks closer to the youth. In addition to risks related to high mobility, drugs, alcohol and sex enter the life of a youth.
However in comparison to adolescence only about 12 to 15 percent of youth die of exposure to high risks. The highest risk for youth is brought about by conflict, terrorism and war which amount to about 87 percent of all deaths in youth. Today it is estimated that about 100 to 150 youth loose their lives daily use to conflict, terrorism and war. The adventure takes the next place in death of youth as youth is identified as the age of adventure. At adulthood man is guided to stay away from risks as his responsibilities to home and society becomes more valuable. Except for adults working in risky enterprises like industry and security services the rest have very low level of risks. However, adult whom have not grown out of their youth remain vulnerable to risks related to antisocial activities, drugs and sex. Towards the latter part of adulthood people are exposed to high amount of health risks as they have worked harder and wasted or comfort has made them suffering from chronic diseases. Once people pass their adulthood into old age risk of disease becomes well noted in their lives. Then it is clear that the concept of risk is highly related to life cycle and immediate living, working and pleasure environments. Learning to evaluate these variables makes someone better equipped to deal with risks in life. Reducing risk Diversification, insurance, actual fairness and utilisation of complete information system are the best ways of reducing risk. Taken from business systems these methods of reducing risk are highly valuable to any study of risk reduction. However all these actions require the efficient operation of a planned work programme. Then the developing countries have many difficulties in conducting these actions as they have no efficient institutional framework. Diversification can be applied to settlements which are affected by natural disasters through removal of construction to a safer site. Corruption can be limited by decentralising the financial authority to village level officers. Traffic congestion can be minimised by cancellation of right to park on highways.
Insurance is an asset to all in facing disaster. The developed world has a well established long-term insurance system, where people can benefit during disaster. The developing world is yet to establish universal insurance systems which can benefit its populace and attempts to establish such systems are hindered by inefficient taxation systems in them. Actual fairness in governance and management is a distant truth to developing countries as they are yet to establish good governance. Lack of good governance in developing world has led to an increase of natural and societal disasters in them. War and terrorism in most of the developing countries is primarily a result of poor economic status and equality. The use of complete information system in disaster management is activated only through actual fairness. Personal Glimpse Author thinks that he should present his personal glimpse into risk as he has lived in many types of environments in Sri Lanka, Africa, Europe and travelled widely all over the world covering about 47 countries and worked under modern and traditional systems. Further author believes that the only way to reduce risk is to follow the combined scientific truth of traditional and modern understanding of environment and development. Author was under care and guidance of his parents where he learned early to control risks and live safely. However, the author had two major engagements with death during adolescence, once a close encounter with drowning in Kalu Ganaga and another close encounter with a lepored, walking in the Samanla forest. The learning of breathing helped the author to escape drowning and lessons on mountain hiking learned from his father led him to escape from the lepored. Youth and adulthood brought a great period of exploration to the author with constant engagements with mountain climbing and trekking in all the major mountain ranges of Sri Lanka, Europe and West Africa between 20 and 35
years of age. Many close encounters with death were experienced during this period of travel, but author managed to stay alive as he managed to practise principles of disaster control. Entering his old age author has managed to continue his climbing and trekking and at the age of 56 he has managed to climb the highest mountain in Northern Europe (Gladdhopigen in Norway), trek through Arctic Circle and the highlands of Northern Norway at the age of 56. most of his climbings and treks were conducted on solo basis and his advice to all adventurers is “do not take unnecessary risks” . Risk in relation to immediate living environment is assessed below Natural disasters Stage 1- when you are building your house/ commercial establishment check for the possible disasters around Find out the pattern of occurrence or probability of occurrence. Use available scientific information. Details of these are available with researchers in Universities. Older people in the area can give you some information. Folk lore may be helpful. Information given by older people and folk lore has to be presented to a disaster analyst for valuation. Remember that natural disasters can be activated by man through building improperly. Landslides can begin when the slope is cut into steeper than natural/ flood level can rise in the valley when some parts of the plain is filled and raised to construct. All major road projects in the highland of Sri Lanka activate rock and landslide of small to medium scale – total extra expenditure on road repair between Gampola and Paradeka was estimated to be about 1 to 2 million rupees. This expenditure has to continue until slopes are settled which means that for another about five to ten
years an annual damage of about 1 million is expected. In addition danger to traffic remains a serious problem. Similar damage continues to occur in Mathale- Kandy highway every year since its construction. Filled flood plain diverted flood water to unexpected areas in all the floods of 2003 and 2006. it should be remembered the flood plain is constructed by the river to hold its flood waters during major recurring floods of 50 and 100 years. These floods are hardly noticed by man, but they arrive on schedule only with one or two year shift from the exact date of occurrence. Therefore man should not forget that the nature has its calendar and if man is to alter the environment man should be ready for disaster. Stage 2 Identify the possible disasters in your area/ their time of occurrence/ their nature over the last 10 years/ take maximum precautions to save life. In terms of landslides the answer is slope stabilisation with proper foundations, which can hold until the lives are saved. With reference to flooding avoid areas with flash flood and built with maximum resistance to flood. Time of occurrence of disasters like landslides and flood are seasonal and observation of the environment will save lives. This type of observation can be conducted with the aid of public services and when they are ineffective the community can contact a higher research body like university for help. Stage3 The evaluation supplied by the scientists has to be followed and the recommendation has to be implemented. However it should be remembered that most of the predictions of natural disasters may be not very accurate and the people affected should not be discouraged by the failure of prediction.
The adherence to this type of response system will minimise the risk of death from natural disasters. Societal disasters – These disasters occur mainly due to increased density of settlement, roads and high mobility of people. In addition when man begins to forego ethical behaviour in community development, corruption is created. Increased road and building density increases the risk of traffic accidents, if the settlements are not properly planned. Fro example the high rate of fatal accidents on Sri Lanka roads are due to non-provision of pedestrian ways, nonprovision of legal facilities to punish errand drivers and locating housing areas at the side of highways. Social corruption leads to anti-social behaviour, which increases conflict in the community. Conflict leads to a crisis in law and order. Socio-political corruption in developing countries are noted as the most damaging factor in economic development and some of the global funding authorities have stopped direct monetary allocations to them. This sad situation is not only supported by local sociopolitical situation , but also by some corrupt elements in the developed world financial system, which allow illegally gained wealth of the elite of the developing world to be saved in the banks and investment companies of the developed world. This system of corruption is identified by many (Usman, Sen and Scudder) as the major reason for poverty in the developing world. Societal risks are kept under control in the developed countries through application of legislation and continuing education. However, there is no possibility of controlling societal disasters in the developing world and The occurrence of disaster in Sri Lanka is generalised in Map1, which can be used as a basis of understanding in future.
Tables 4/22/1 to 4/22/4 show signs to be watched if there is no general warning given by public authorities. The information given here is based on the collection of life stories from various sources such as field work, global TV channels (Discovery , BBC, CNN, Reality TV, National Geographic, Animal Planet etc.). however, the procedure given here is highly generalised, but will save lives.
Facing disaster People at risk should be educated continuously through the use of local information network, national and regional radio and television networks. Media system in operation should have a compulsory time slot at least thrice weekly for the purpose of preparation for the disaster.
Table 4/26/1 During disaster (2 major geological environmental disasters affecting Sri Lanka)
Go for cover, if you are in the house go under strong furniture (table, bed) Do not wait for the last minute
When shaking stops run out to clear area Stay in ground high
Do not return until all the after shocks are over. Help the victims as much as you can. Get the community together. Beware of unknown visitors. Stay with known people. Stay in high ground until water recedes. Help the victims as much as you can. Get the community together. Beware of unknown visitors. Stay with known people together
Table 4/26/2 During disaster (2 major geological environmental disasters affecting Sri Lanka) Type
Cyclone and tornado
Go for cover, if you are in the house go under a strong furniture (table, bed) do not go out to see the wind Run away form the path
Go out when wind stops
Help the victims as much as you can. Get the community together. Beware of unknown visitors. Stay with known people together
Stay away from the path
Help the victims as much as you can. Get the community together. Beware of unknown visitors. Stay with known people together
Table 4/26/3 During disaster (four major societal environmental disasters affecting Sri Lanka)
Type Corruption Immediate action Try not to support Try help victims Try not to support Secondary action Organise societal action Calm the environment Organise societal action Living through Continue campaigning (but take care as the corrupt may attempt to harm you) Continue campaigning for safe driving (but take care as the corrupt may attempt to harm you) Continue campaigning for efficiency and good governance (but take care as the corrupt may attempt to harm you)
Table 4/26/4 During disaster (Health disaster)
Type Epidemic Immediate action Follow medical advice Secondary action Organise societal action Living through Follow medical advice until declaration of safety authorities Follow medical advice until declaration of safety authorities
the by the by
Emergency after any natural disaster
Try to give first aid, bring seriously injured to the nearest transport point Try help victims, try to stop bleeding with any method known to you
Organise societal action to find any medicines left in the vicinity Calm the environment
Continue campaigning for safe driving (but take care as the corrupt may attempt to harm you)
The following schedule is prepared for including Sri Lanka
At the onset of the disaster (Tables 4/26/1, 4/26/2 and 4/26/3) 1. Evacuate at the moment of warning before evacuating collect essential food items, medicine, water and clothing for hard wear 2. Always follow the advice of a security personal or an elder in the Community in the process of evacuation 3. Use all your ability and strength to keep people away from danger During disaster 1. Disaster will pass quickly (see time line of natural disaster causing elements and factors tables 4.27 to 4.36, (Seneviratne, 2006b), but it will be extremely difficult to bear. 2. if you survive without serious injury, try to help people who are seriously injured or need medical attention
First hour to 12 hours after disaster 1. Outside help will not be able to reach you in disasters which involve natural forces and if you are not seriously injured try to help the seriously injured and weak and feeble. Conserve all food and water available. Try not to be afraid of dead. Looting may begin and be cooperative with any force as the looters may kill you. 13th hour to 24 hours after disaster 1. 2. Outside help may come in trickles and you may or may not get food and Water and fear will grip you. Therefore be brave and keep on working with injured. Looting will continue and be cooperative with any force as the looters may kill you.
25th hour and after 1. Outside help will arrive and you can handover relief work to others and become a helper to them. Always remember that the disaster is a time of opportunity for anti-social elements and they may even kill to achieve their objectives, in the absence of proper law enforcement agencies.
Table 4/27 Living pulses of the earth – EARTHQUAKES and VOLCANIC ERUPTION releasing pressure of the earth‟s interior
Types of breathes and shakes Earth tremor/ Volcanic tremor Earthquakes below 4.5Richter scale/ volcanic gas burst Earthquakes 4.5 to 5.4 Richter scale/ volcanic pyroclastic flow Earthquakes 5.5 to 6.4 Richter scale/ low level volcanic explosions Earthquakes 6.5 to 7.4 Richter scale/ moderate level volcanic explosions Earthquakes 7.5 to 8.4 Richter scale/ high level volcanic explosions Earthquakes 8.5 to 9.4 Richter scale/ disastrous volcanicexplosions Energy release 1 Hiroshima bomb 2 to 3 Hiroshima bombs 2 to 4 Hiroshima bombs 20 Hiroshima bombs Time period 1 – 5 Seconds with 1 after shock 3 –7 Seconds with 1 to 2 after shocks 3 – 10 Seconds with 1 to 2 after shocks 3 –15 Seconds with 2 to 3 after shocks 5 – 20 Seconds with 3 to 4 after shocks 10 – 20 Seconds with 4 to 5 after shocks 20 – 30 Seconds with 5 to 6 after shocks Result Shake Shake and break Shake and break – temporary buildings, vehicles speeding over 100km/hr can be thrown out of the road Shake and break – temporary buildings, some weak well constructed buildings, vehicles speeding over 60 km/hr can be thrown out of the road, mud slides and landslides can be generated Shake and break – temporary weak and even some well constructed buildings, vehicles speeding over 40 km/hr can be thrown out of the road, mud flow, and landslides and small Tsunami can be generated Shake and break – all buildings without earthquake proofing, vehicles parked can be thrown out of the road – mud flow, landslides and Tsunami can be generated Shake and break – all buildings without earthquake proofing and even some earthquake proofed heavy buildings, vehicles parked can be thrown out of the road, mud flow, landslides and Tsunami generated
200 Hiroshima bombs
2000 Hiroshima bombs
10,000 Hiroshima bombs
* 1 Hiroshima bomb (atomic) is equal to about 500,000 claymore mines.
Table 4/28 Living pulses of the earth - LANDSLIDES - moving masses of soil and rock Types of breathes and shakes Landslide Time period Velocity Material involved Result
Gravel slide Rock fall
Seconds to few minutes Few to many seconds Few to many seconds Few to many seconds Few minutes to many days and some times many years Few seconds to minutes
60 to 150 km/hr
Soil, rock, gravel, mud, vegetation and water Mostly mud and sand and few rocks and vegetation Mostly gravel, rocks and vegetation Mostly large blocks of rocks and some soil Mostly large blocks of soil and regolith. Sometimes rock and boulders are embedded in it.
Destruction of any human construction on its path
90 to 300 km/hr
Destruction of any human construction on its path
30 to 70 km/hr
Destruction of any human construction on its path
150 to 400 km/hr
Destruction of any human construction on its path
2 to 5 cms/hr
Destruction of any human construction on its path
30 to 60 km/hr
Mostly small quantities mud, sand and gravel
Burial of any human construction on its path
Table 4.29 Living pulses of the earth - STREAMS (smaller than 5 meter of channel width) and RIVERS (5 meter or bigger than 5 meter channel width) Types of breathes and shakes Low flow Medium flow High flow Time period Velocity Material involved Result
Vary on rainfall High rainfall Very high rainfall Extremely high rainfall Extremely high rainfall
3 to 6 km/hr 5 to 10 km/hr 20 to 30 km/hr 30 to 50 km/hr 30 to 70 km/hr
Water, mud and sand Water, mud sand and vegetation Water, mud sand, gravel vegetation and settlement debris Water, mud sand, gravel vegetation and settlement debris Water, mud sand, gravel vegetation and settlement debris
Gentle flow - enjoyable Moderate flow – be careful High flow – be very careful Flood – be extremely careful Raging Flood – stay away from the stream or river
Table 4.30 Living pulses of the earth - WIND
Types of breathes and shakes Gentle wind Moderate wind Time period 80 to 90 percent of the time 8 to 20 percent of the time 1 to 2 percent of the time Velocity 2 to 5 km/hr 4 to 7 km/hr 8 to 15 km/hr Material involved Dust and light objects (paper and polythene bags) Dust, fine sand and light objects (leaves, paper, paper bags, polythene bags and heavy plastic bags and bottles) Dust, fine sand, coarse sand, light objects leaves, paper, paper bags, polythene bags and heavy plastic bags and bottles, twigs and dry branches. Dust rises above the head. Result Enjoyable Manageable but discomfort to women as long dresses and hair shaking, cycling becomes difficult, kites can fly Difficult to manage discomfort to women as long dresses and hair shaking, cycling becomes very difficult, kites can fly high, felt by motor vehicles. Difficult to carry umbrellas. Very difficult to manage serious discomfort to women as long dresses and hair shaking, cycling becomes extremely difficult, kites will tumble, felt strongly by motor vehicles. Cannot carry umbrellas. Dangerous to be outside. Low visibility and limited flying
Light Gale force winds
Less than 0.3 percent of the time
15 to 30 km/hr
Dust, fine sand, coarse sand, light objects leaves, paper, paper bags, polythene bags and heavy plastic bags and bottles, twigs and dry branches. Dust rises above the head. Weak branches break. Some temporary housing and bird‟s nests will break.
Strong gale force winds
Less than 0.1 percent of the time
30 to 60 km/hr
Cyclonic/Hurricane/ Typhoon/Tornado /Khamsin type winds
Less than 0.01 percent of the time
Over 60 and up to 300 km/hr
Objects leaves, paper, paper bags, polythene bags and heavy plastic bags and bottles, twigs and dry branches. Dust rises above the head. Weak branches break. New branches break, weak trees fall, weak roofing fly. All temporary housing and bird‟s nests will break. Children less than 10 kilos will fall. Cats and dogs will have difficulty in staying upright. All animals will go into hiding All objects not built from reinforced concrete or steel is subjected to damage or destruction. All human and animal life is in danger.
All humans and animals can die. Low visibility and No flying
Table 4.31 Living pulses of the earth – CLOUDS Type of formation Cirrus Stratus cirro Stratus cumulo Stratus Strato Nimbus Strato – Nimbus – depressional clouds Cumulus CumuloNimbus Double Cell CumuloNimbus Multiple Cell cumulus Time period 1 percent 2 percent 3 percent 20 to 25 percent 8 percent 4 percent Velocity 5 to 10 km/hr 10 to 15 km/hr 10 to 20 km/hr 6 to 20 km/hr 10 to 30 km/hr 10 to 30 km/hr Size , location in the sky, Material involved Small – above 1000 m, Ice particles Small above 1000 m, Ice particles and some water droplets Moderate to big, above 1000 m, Ice particles and some water droplets Moderate to big, form over oceans above 1000m , drift to land, Water droplets Moderate to big, form over oceans above 1000m drift to land, Water droplets Moderate to very big, form over warm oceans above 1000m and drift towards land, large from 200 square kilometres to 3000 square kilometres, Water droplets Moderate to big Water droplets, form at 3000 to 10000 meters above ground and drift down to about 1000 meters Big to very big, form at 3000 to 10000 meters above ground and drift down to about 1000 meters, Water droplets Big to very big, Water droplets form at 3000 to 10000 meters above ground and drift down to about 1000 meters Big to very big, form at 5000 to 10000 meters above ground and drift down to about 1000meters, Water droplets Result Dry weather Dry weather and sometimes dew Dry weather and sometimes dew Wet weather and some times long duration gentle rain Wet weather and gentle to moderate rain Wet weather and gentle to strong rain of long duration
50 to 60 percent 11 percent
5 to 30 km/hr 10 to 40 km/hr
Wet weather and some times long duration rain Rain to short duration heavy rain with lightning Rain and high intensity rain. Low visibility and No flying High intensity rain and winds Cyclonic and Tornado. Low visibility and No flying
20 to 60 km/hr
40 to 300 km/hr
Table 4.32 Living pulses of the earth – RAINFALL/ SNOW FALL / ICE FALL Types of breathes and shakes Slight rain/ Snow drops Moderate rain/ Snow fall Heavy rain / Snow fall Torrential rain/ Snow Storm (Blizzard) Time period Velocity Size , Material involved Result
10 to 20 minutes
10 to 30 minutes
10 to 45 minutes
20 to 45 minutes
0.2 to 0.3 meters per second 0.4 to 0.6 meters per second 0.4 to 0.8 meters per second 0.4 to 1.0 meters per second
0.005 mm to 0.001 mm, water droplets, snow flakes and ice flakes 0.003 mm to 0.01mm, water droplets, snow flakes 0.01 mm to 0.5 mm, water droplets, snow flakes 0.01 mm to 0.5 mm, water droplets, snow flakes
Water droplets snow and ice flakes these can make the ground slippery. Water droplets and large snow and ice flakes these can make the flow and ground slippery Water droplets and snow flakes.
Water droplets and snow flakes. Low visibility and No flying
Table 4.33 Living pulses of the earth – DUST STORM
Types of breathes and shakes Dust devil Dust storm Sand storm Time period Velocity Size , Material involved Result
1 to 10 minutes 20 minutes to 3 days 10 minutes to 45 minutes
20 to 30 km/hr 10 to 30 km/hr
Small (1 meter square) to large (5 meter square) 20 square kilometres to 2000 square kilometres 5 square kilometres to 2000 square kilometres
15 to 150 km/hr
Flying dust at high speed. Health hazard and traffic hazard Slowly drifting dust for long periods of time. Health hazard and traffic hazard. Low visibility and No flying High speed dust flow with very low visibility Serious health hazard and traffic hazard. Low visibility and No flying.
Table 4.34 Living pulses of the earth – Glaciers (ice rivers) Types of breathes and shakes Glacier Time period Velocity Size , Material involved Result
Geological climatic change
Few centimetres per year
Ice, snow, rock debris, soil
Maintenance of rivers, lakes and supply of cool water to the ocean. The rapid melting of ice sheets are causing flooding and drop of ocean temperature, which can result in dry climates globally.
Table 4.35 Living pulses of the earth – Sea and Ocean Waves
Types of breathes and shakes Gentle waves High Time period Velocity Size , Material involved Result
99.8 percent of the time 0.18 percent of the time
4 to 6 km/hr
10 to 15 km/hr
0.02 percent of the time
Above 20 km/ hr
10 to 50 square meters – water and light organic debris 100 to 200 square meters – water and light to heavy organic and inorganic debris – can shake a canoe violently 500 to 1000 square meters – water and heavy organic and inorganic debris can throw a mechanised boat
Gentle sea and enjoyable beach
Rough sea and dangerous to be in the beach
Dangerous to be at the beach, can drag a human being on the splash and take out to sea.
Table 4.36 Living pulses of the earth – OCEANIC CIRCULATION AND DEEP SEA CURRENT
Types of breathes and shakes Tides Time period Velocity Size , Material involved Result
Diurnal and Seasonal Seasonal
Surface currents Deep sea current
1 cm /day
Millions of cubic kilometres, sea water, plankton and fish Millions of cubic kilometres, sea water, plankton and fish Billions of cubic kilometres, sea water and chemical deposits
Coastal areas are washed and cleaned
Coastal areas are made more wet or dry Earth‟s air conditioner, cool the tropics and warm the temperate areas
Modelling disaster Disaster management depends on modelling for testing safety, response and recovery systems. Hazard management provide the system of understanding of control and manage hazards. But disaster management has to be ahead of hazard management as it has to incorporate the response to a destruction arising from a hazard. Then disaster and risk of disaster has to consider the hazard, effect of hazard on people through time and space and the varying degrees of vulnerability to the hazard event (Wisener et al, 2004). Risk is an expected damage and vulnerability is potential for exposure to damage. For example living at Peradeniya slump site was a risk, but people living in and around it refused to believe it is a risk. However after strengthening the soil cutting people who occupied the area thought that they have nothing to fear. This is to think that they are not vulnerable, but they forgot that science cannot be cheated and they were vulnerable. Once the disaster occurred there was physical and psychological destruction and some of the social relations were useless and others were lost and they have to now depend on external resources for recovery. Two models based on PAR and ACCESS type of models (Wisner et al, 2004) are presented here. PAR model is based on the vulnerability and hazard compresses society and the level of impact of the disaster is decided by the intensity of the hazard and vulnerability of society to the hazards which it was subjected to. To reduce the impact of the disaster the vulnerability has to be reduced. In this model three systems indicate the growth of vulnerability. They are root causes, dynamic pressures and unsafe conditions. Under root causes 1. limited access to power, structures and resources 2. political systems and economic systems ideologies are given. Dynamic pressures are identified as lack of required facilities and macro-forces. Under lack of required facilities, 1. local institutions 2. training 143
3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
appropriate skills local investments local markets press freedom ethical standards in public life are given.
Under macro-forms 1. rapid population change 2. urbanisation 3. arms expenditure 4. debt repayment schedules 5. deforestation 6. decline in soil fertility are given. The unsafe conditions formed by these two factors are listed under Physical environment, local economy, social relations, public actions and institutions Under physical environment 1. dangerous locations 2. unprotected buildings and infrastructure are given. Under local economy 1. livelihoods at risk 2. low income level are given Under social relations 1. special groups at risk 2. lack of local institutions are given Under public actions and institutions 1. lack of disaster preparedness 2. prevalence of endemic diseases are given When disaster occur the risk of disaster is given as RISK= Hazard x Vulnerability
Hazards are identified under all the sectors of natural and man induced categories with the inclusion of disease as a category. Virus and pests are considered an important category (Figure 5.1). Figure 5.1 PAR (Generalised)
GEO POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT
The width of arrow indicates the pressure on vulnerability in the developing countries where the geopolitical environment is constantly harassed by unethical standards in public life.
ACCESS model is built on an expanded analysis of PAR with inquiring into the economic, social and political processes behind vulnerability and risk. Within this model hazard sometime intensify vulnerability and reduce power to recover from disaster. Therefore the ACCESS model can also be called the Environmental Model of Disaster Management and closely associated with PODS. The ACCESS model investigates the primary or surface cause, secondary or underlying cause and tertiary or hidden cause of
disaster and has the capability to explain an event in much more detail than in a direct systems analysis. This is because most of the disasters are not natural in occurrence, as most of the disastrous happenings of the present day world occur because people have selected to live they way they live and forget scientific base of disaster. For example in Rathnapura Floods of 2003 Flood was expected, but not listened to scientific advice and land on the river bank was utilised without proper safety system, people never thought that the river has its natural cycle of major floods, drainage was not considered important etc. However these models have failed to explain the role played by political and social institutions in the developed world in not controlling their undue financial influence on the developing which lead to most of these unethical standards among political and administrative elite in the developing world. In addition models so not account for allowing the development authorities to use funding from the developed countries on unscientific land use, which accelerates the strength of disaster. The ACCESS model can be utilised well for all the detailed studies on impact on households, specially in developing countries. Access model Begins from the secure system of social structure and social relations where normal life is available with social protection in place. Unsafe conditions can form within this secure system due to influence from lack of readiness to disaster Specific hazard with its spatio-temporality triggers the disaster and penetrates the protected society This will begin the first round of impacts on normal life, leading to coping, adaptation and interventions The experiences will take the society to the next disaster with actions of disaster reduction, which will feed the unsafe
conditions with scientific information and raise the level of social protection Evaluating the factors in the model The factors in the model are taken out for a basic valuation for the primary disaster management. The values 1,2 and 3 are given for each stage of assessment. Score 1= weak and high risk Score 2 = fair and risky Score 3 = good and low risk Factor Limited access to Power Structures Resources Factor Ideologies Political Systems Economic Systems Score = 1 1 1 1 Score = 1 1 1 Score = 2 Score = 3 Score = 2 Score = 3
Factor Lack of following local institutions training appropriate skills local investments local markets press freedom ethical standards in public life
Score = 1 1 1 1 1 1
Score = 2
Score = 3
Factor Macro forces rapid population change urbanisation arms expenditure debt repayment schedules deforestation Decline in soil productivity
Score = 1
Score = 2 2
Score = 3
1 1 1 1 1
Factor Physical environment dangerous locations unprotected buildings and infrastructure are given
Score = 1
Score = 2
Score = 3
Factor Local economy livelihoods at risk low income level are given
Score = 1 1 1
Score = 2
Score = 3
Factor Social relations special groups at risk lack of local institutions
Score = 1 1 1
Score = 2
Score = 3
Factor Public actions and institutions Lack of disaster preparedness Prevalence of endemic diseases are given
Score = 1
Score = 2
Score = 3
Evaluation – add all the scores and check with the following chart for the level of risk and vulnerability. Sri Lanka‟s score is 24 and referring to the risk chart for developing nations show that Sri Lankan‟s lives are at the level of very high risk in terms of disasters of natural and societal nature. Risk Chart Score Over 75 65 – 74 50 – 64 40 -49 30 -39 20 -29 Below 20 Level of risk/vulnerability Very low risk (death possible 10 percent of the time) Low risk (death possible 20 percent of the time) Moderate risk (death possible 30 percent of the time) High risk (death possible 40 percent of the time) Very high risk (death possible 50 percent of the time) Very serious risk (death possible 75 percent of the time) Deadly (death is possible at any time)
Scores for Sri Lankan situation –some examplesActivity Corruption Traffic accidents War Natural disasters Score 30 -39 Below 20 20-29 30-39
ACCESS model provides access to capabilities, assets and livelihood opportunities to reduce vulnerability and avoid disasters. For this purpose the disaster should be watched from the following stages of observation. 1. identification of trigger event 2. vulnerability generated form the event 3. impact unfolding 4. role and agency of society involved 5. occurrence of impacts 6. coping system 7. developing recovery strategies 8. interaction with security services, owners of assets, local, regional, national and international agents. This system of observation involves the use of sustainable livelihoods (Chambers and Conway, 1992; Drinkwater and McEwan, 1994; Leach et al, 1997, Moser, 1998, Scoones, 1998: Carney, 1998; Bellington, 1999: Haghebaert, 2001) and capabilities approaches (Sen, 1981 and 1999) to disaster management. The first publication of RISK by Blaikie (1977) and Blaikie (1985b) have also noted a similar approach. This indicates that the complex relationship of disaster in the developing countries can be well accommodated in the ACCESS model and PODS presented in this book is derived from that experience. Disaster has many relationships to its environment and the status of environmental management in operation in the locality of disaster. This is because, disaster is connected to space, time, literacy, beliefs, ethics and sometimes factors like gender, ethnicity and personnel behaviour. Table 5/.1/ 1 to 5/1/8 Examples of relationships – (not all possible are given, only the most important are stated)
Table 5/1/1 Factor Space 1 Trigger Plate tectonics Disaster Earthquakes Volcanic eruptions Subsidence Tsunami Landslides Landslides Flash floods Lightning Road cutting Overloading
High intensity rainfall
Table 5/1/2 Factor Time Trigger Climatic change Disaster Flash floods Landslides Crop failures Pest invasions Diseases Traffic accidents War Conflict Anti-social behaviour Loss of Ethics
Table 5/1/3 Factor Literacy
Trigger Non establishment of rule of law
Disaster Loss Environmental control leading to flash floods, landslides, loss of water resources and drought Traffic accidents War Conflict Anti-social behaviour Loss of Ethics Economic failures
Table 5/1/4/ Factor Beliefs Trigger Non-utilisation of scientific systems Disaster Loss Environmental control leading to flash floods, landslides, loss of water resources and drought Traffic accidents War Conflict Anti-social behaviour Loss of Ethics
Table 5/1/5 Factor Ethics Trigger Unethical actions Disaster Loss Environmental control leading to flash floods, landslides, loss of water resources and drought Extremism
Table 5/1/6 Factor Gender Trigger Unethical actions Disaster Loss Environmental control leading to flash floods, landslides, loss of water resources and drought Suffering of women
Table 5.1.7 Factor Ethnicity Trigger Unethical actions Disaster Loss Environmental control leading to flash floods, landslides, loss of water resources and drought Extremism Conflict war
Table 5/1/8 Factor Personnel behaviour Trigger Unethical actions Disaster Loss Environmental control leading to flash floods, landslides, loss of water resources and drought Extremism Conflict Riot War Drug addiction Sexual molestation, rape, serial killings
The relationship between factor, trigger and disaster in the above tables is more applicable to developing world situations where environmental planning is at a low utilisation level. Therefore impact of disaster and recovery is much slower in them than in the developed countries. The figures 5/1/1 and 5/1/2 show the progression of the land system and societal system components in relation to disaster since 1900.
Figure5/2/1 Graphical representation of loss of balance and disaster damage in developing countries (six selected land system set)
5 RAINFALL DROUGHT 3 FLOOD PEOPLE LITERACY 2 DISASTER DAMAGE
0 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2010
Figure 5/2/ 2 Graphical representation of loss of balance and disaster damage in developing countries (six selected social system set)
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2010 PEOPLE ETHICS CONFLICT ETHNICITY LITERACY BELIEFS DISASTER DAMAGE
Figures 5/2/1 and 5/2/2 is based on generalised data from many developing countries, based on the authors experiences in many African and Asian countries including Sri Lanka between 1977 and 2003. Figure 5/1/1 indicate that there is no relationship between literacy and disaster in land system set as expected in these countries, which may be due to loss of ethics and rising of conflict in them. Serious loss of ethics and degradation of local belief systems are the two major factors responsible for this decay, which is suspected to have originated from the colonial mentality of the leadership of post independence period in these countries. The utilisastion of the concepts of sustainable livelihoods and capabilities approach are also hindered by the same type of mentalities where locally generated knowledge is still rejected by many attempts in disaster management. Then the use of ACCESS model as in developed countries is urgently required in the developing countries. Kalu, Gin and NIlwala floods of 2003, floods and landslides of the 2006 October-November season which are responsible for a minimum damage of about 100 billion Rupees (media publication total) Rathnapura floods of 2003) further strengthens the concept that literacy has not managed to reduce vulnerability and avoid disaster as in the ACCESS model due to low level of use of scientific understanding in disaster control. a close inspection of the sites affected with the Field Class of the course Environmental Hazards, 2006 revealed that more than 80 percent of the casualties and damages occurred due to lack of proper scientific understanding on the environment by planning or construction authorities (non utilisation of PAR or ACCESS models). Future looks bleak without proper modelling in Sri Lanka therefore it is high time the ACCESS model and PODS are utilised in any future disaster management system.
What to do for people without disaster warning Cause of Signs to watch disaster Landslide Heavy rain Heavy rain continue Activity recommended Watch for extremely muddy water in the streams If murkiness (mixing of mud) increases and water turns dark then watch out for some noises like thunder in the higher slope Carefully go to the higher slopes to investigate the level of saturation Leave the path immediately
Slopes are all oozing out with water If there are loose soil and rock on the slope Hear massive thunder like noise look out towards the higher slopes
Get out of the valley and run towards the high ground and wait until someone confirms all OK
Training required for this type of work can be provided to volunteers at Rajarata University if they contact the Author through the Vice Chancellor.
Flood Cause of disaster Flood Signs to watch Heavy rain Activity recommended Watch for the pattern of water flow in the low lying areas. Watch for the river overflowing Get out of the low lying areas early Watch for bank collapse constantly Watch for water flow Take all women and children to high ground when water level reaches 2ft or 60 centimetres. Do not attempt to cross without help
Media reports on rain in up river Flood confirms If living by the bank If living on land fill leaving
Do not trust any flowing flood water more than 70 centimetres. Or 2 and half feet deep.
Training required for this type of work can be provided to volunteers at Rajarata University if they contact the Author through the Vice Chancellor.
Cause of disaster Traffic accidents
Signs to watch Stopped on road and talking/buying/repairing/
Activity recommended Advice the people to get out of the road, but most of the time they will abuse you, as this type of drivers are illiterate – it has happened to the author about 100 times in his life time in Sri Lanka as the author has to collect data on response, if the vehicles belong to any security service do not interfere, because they can molest you. Advice driver, but be ready to be abused by the driver/ conductor. Some passengers as most of these people are illiterate and speeding buses are not checked properly by the police as there is some connection between Police and Buses. Advice driver, but be ready to be abused by the driver/ conductor. Some passengers as most of these people are illiterate
Errand motor bicycle/three wheeler/bicycle
Training required for this type of work cannot be provided to volunteers at Rajarata University, because in this respect we
have to deal with illiterate and elitist organisation which can harm you and your family. Political corruption is also a serious threat to operation of road traffic law in Sri Lanka. The activities which can be prepared for the three primary disaster generating triggers were listed above and any additional information is available in the Department of Social Sciences/ Environmental management, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.
Chapter 6 Business of Disaster Management Disaster management in business began with the introduction of safety laws in industry and commerce. Later in the twentieth century environmental protection legislation was also included in this category of enactments. The international and national enactments on safety can be obtained from international organisations like UN, ILO, EU, NAFTA, WTO and many other agencies responsible for safety in business. The best internet site is UN and ILO. National safety enactments are available from ministries of Labour and Environment. This chapter aims to present the procedures of disaster management in relation to business in general and the operational systems of disaster management with special reference to a developing country like Sri Lanka. The identification and research into disasters in business is almost similar to that of environmental disasters as the business environment is part of the built environment. Therefore chapters 1 to 4 in this book apply to business disaster management systems and the information base required for each type of business has to be extracted from them. The theory of new environmental management and modern disaster management is applicable to business as global, national and local businesses operate within the accepted norms, legislations and ethics of society. It is stated in chapter 4 that disaster management in developing countries is at its infancy due to many scientific and societal reasons. The following stories, which are based on author‟s personal experiences in working with various types of businesses, will provide an insight to the reader with necessary facts about disaster management in business in the developed world and developing world. Story 1 Country – Norway – 2000 Business – Super Market Chain
Super markets are the most visited commercial establishments in the developed world and they have to be ready to open at 7 or 8 am and close at 9 pm. They have to be stocked after closing and cleaned before opening. Therefore a team of part time workers enter the shop in the morning at 4.30 am to clean with their own keys which are attached to a code numbered lock. At this time the streets are deserted and these workers work alone until about 6.30 when the floor manager arrives for primary checks on cleaning, stock and receive daily supply of perishables. The cleaners work alone in the shop for about 2 to two and a half hours guarded by video control anti-burglary devices. The worker is insured against any danger within the working hours and police will arrive within five minutes of the ringing of the alarm manually or if it is activated automatically by an attempting forced entry. The same alarm system will collect information on the worker behaviour through a set of open and hidden video cameras. Before I began my work I was informed by my employer that the manager is moody and not very friendly. On the fifth day at work I came across an open drawer with cash resting on a cashier‟s table and when reported it to the manager he thanked me and no further discussions were held on the matter. When I casually mentioned this incident to my employer he commented “that was a test that manager does to check you out”. About a month into my employment manager slowly became friendly and we had many discussions on the purpose of my stay in Norway and my family. The he began to inform me about the losses incurred due to shop lifting by customers and cleaners and commented “I like you to work with me as long as you are going to be here”. According to manager the store looses about 4 to 5 percent of its income through shop lifting and all type of people from staff, delivery people, customers and cleaners have been caught in camera. Before the introduction of the camera system the losses were in the range of 10 to 15 percent and the installation of an additional security system at accost of about 500,000 US Dollars in mid 2000, when I was working there saved another 3 percent by the end of the year. The total income of the shop which was the city centre unit was in the range of 5 to 10 million US Dollars a year.
My security advice was issued on the first day at work. They were 1. do not touch any material on the shelf at any time. If by accident any item is disturbed put it back where it was or leave on the counter. 2. check you bag for any prohibited matter any unopened purchases are prohibited to carry into the shop in the morning. 3. if there is an attempt of forced entry noted, call 113 emergency services. 4. do not allow any of your visitors to accompany you to work without prior permission from manager. 5. when you leave you have to leave from the workers door 6. between 4.30 am and 7 am you are fully insured to be inside the shop. 7. then the manager showed me where the emergency doors, fire doors, emergency telephones, fire safe (if suddenly fire blocks the doors, this is the place to enter and wait for you to be rescued by firemen) 8. I was warned of the ice at the door step during winter. 9. finally I was warned of stiff penalties for shop lifting. During my stay at work in the establishment as a part time worker for about 2 years, auto alarm was sounded three times and police arrived within five minutes. Once police arrived with the manager to check the status of the of the security system. Twice some strangers made an attempt to communicate with me through the main door, which was refused. No loss of material was reported during the period of my work, though about 3 staff of the shop was dismissed for shop lifting. Twice during the work period my employer had to transport me to work as there was deep snow on ground. I was commended at the end of my stay at work with them and was asked to come and work for them when ever I am in Norway.
Table 6.1 relationship between advice and disaster Security advice number 1 2 Probable disaster Caught in camera and suspected of shop lifting suspected of shop lifting – societal disaster, I may be deported ( about people were deported or ordered to leave without extension to visa in 200 for shop lifting) You cannot control the situation and wasting time may lead to loss of your life –most dangerous societal disaster You may be implicated in an error committed by your companion Your insurance was on that route only – no compensation if something happens to you if you leave by any other door -disaster Free mind to work, no worry of disaster Most important in case of disaster Most dangerous natural hazard and falling on ice can be deadly – natural disaster Most important personal information
6 7 8 9
Country Sri Lanka – 2005 Private Software Company (International) Instructions very similar to that was issued to the author in Norway are in practice. Country – Sri Lanka -2005 Private Software Company (local) No specific disaster scenario instructions are issued, some security risks are given as information Country Sri Lanka – public Services No specific disaster scenario instructions are issued, some security risks are given as information
Country - Sri Lanka 2005-2006, Mihinthale Following hazards were encountered during the period, some of which have reached the level of health disaster. These were notified to the authorities, but no action was taken. 1. Storage of mattresses with chemical smell near living area which led to three residents seeking medical attention. Case was reported to the authorities and it took the about 4 days to remove and the occupants had to endure chemical smell for that duration. Then again freshly painted steel cupboards with paint smell were stored in the same area and it took another complaint and about three days to remove. The storage of tyres and furniture is still around with many smells reaching the living area. 2. Leakage of water from a waste water pipe not attended since reported about a year ago – bad smell and a health hazard 3. Water supplied has many types of sediments –chlorides/silt/clay and cannot drink – common hazard leading to the disaster of Renal failure in North central Province. 4. Most of the safety lights are not working for the last about six months and 1 big snake, two vipers and a snake skin was found within the living area. The situation at Mihinthale site is disaster prone due to low literacy and poor planning respectively. The storage problem is a result of low environment literacy and others are due to poor planning. The occupant of the area has to be extremely vigilant all the time and his free movement is restricted due to these hazardous situations. The system of disaster preparedness in business Sri Lanka are not at acceptable level of operation due to non-adherence to legislation, which is not properly governed by the public authorities. However, multi-nationals working in Sri Lanka have some concerns of disaster preparedness.
Between 2002 and 2005 average annual loss of life due to lack of safety in business operations is estimated at about 310, without taking into account the fatal accidents caused by drivers in business. About 94 percent of the fatal traffic accidents are caused by commercial vehicles, where there is no driver code. A survey conducted on the convicted drivers indicate that 78 percent of the returned to work immediately after the payment of fine without any retraining by the employer or the company. A van driven by a driver of a reputed private company who has been driving about 11 hours continuously crashed into author‟s car. The cause of the accident was sleeping on the wheel. Fires related to commercial and industrial businesses have killed about 34 people in the last year and about 30 of these people were killed because of lack of disaster preparation by the employer. Most common cause of ire was electrical short circuit or gas explosion and most of these establishments had no proper safety measures in place before the disaster. The total property damage estimated using news paper reports and television reports amount to about 20 to 30 billion rupees. The global annual deaths resulting from business related disasters is about 250,000 (not including traffic accidents) and damages from business disasters (including insurance payments) is about 2 billion US Dollars. It is noted that there is a sharp decline of business related disasters in the developed world and a sharp rise in the developing world. This sharp rise in the developing world results from the use of old machinery, poor safety systems in operation and environment illiteracy. For example though the general literacy rate in Sri Lanka is about 92 percent (2005), a survey conducted in seven provinces, which are not affected by conflict indicate that the environment literacy is well below 25 percent. System disasters in business System disasters in business study the financial, personal and service type disasters. In here the managers must understand their role in a rapidly changing world. The concept of environmental change is applicable here as business operates within the living environment of human beings. In some situations they are in changes created by the outside forces and
another time the manager‟s job is to promote change and create progress. Therefore in modern business management should utilise adjustment or creation or both to succeed. Change is inevitable phenomena of management and the new managers should understand the complexity and inescapability of change if they are to be successful in their respective ventures. System disasters in business can be avoided only through the understanding of these changes in modern and post-modern business. Firstly changes in knowledge, information and techniques have to be understood by the manager. Behavioural sciences have a great influence on management today and cooperation and control should be combined in the new management process. However, machines have also advanced and their role has to be understood well by the modern manager. This indicates the value of scientific thinking which will only reveal the intricate relationship of business and customer, where business rests. For example most of the financial disasters are activated by the breakdown of the relationship between customer and business. The present failure of public transport system in Sri Lanka is a result of lack of properly qualified managers and competitiveness in the work force. Likewise almost all the public services suffer from a lack of scientific management approach in them and undue interferences from elitist and political authorities. The private public transport system is also not profitable as it is expected to be because of exploitation of the customer, which lead to loss of income through seeking alternative systems of transport. Further, not understanding the scientific system of public transport due to low literacy of the operators contributes to its low profitability. This is result of non-utilisation of knowledge, information and techniques as given in the modern management systems. Secondly, scope of management is also changing rapidly as managers are specialising in their fields and talking to people who were considered not important in the past. For example women, retired with experience and young enthusiasts are all considered as manager in the new management thinking. Disaster study is given to scientists in the universities and disaster managers are selected from the military. Hurricane
Katrina taught USA that in disaster beyond state level should be handled by a military personal with field command experience. Former meteorology head who was sacked earlier for predicting on tsunamis damage on Thai coast was reinstated to look after Thailand‟s Tsunami warning system. Former FEMA (USA) director resigned after his failures at the handling of hurricane Katrina. However, the use of older experienced, young enthusiast and women has to be carried out with caution in the developing countries. Many women who were given responsible positions in Sri Lanka have become corrupt and some are hiding abroad. Older and experienced or young enthusiasts hired in Sri Lanka for some responsible posts have not performed as expected due to either political pressure or lack of understanding of concept of change which is new to them. Some of the media stories on their performances indicate the presence of inert corruption. Thirdly, the change in population, culture and market has to be understood if a business to avert financial disaster. The age old tradition of faithful customer and market size are not going to be stable factors in future businesses. Further environmental pollution and environmental management are going to be critical factors for business in this millennium. Business has to adjust to face the changing physical, cultural and organisational frame work if it is survive competition in the millennium. Disaster plan for business There cannot be a single prophetical disaster plan for business as business ids the most varied system of operation in the world. The nature of business varies from Multi-national, Transnational, regional and local to Mafioso. systems of operation. All the multi-nationals, trans-nationals and Mafioso businesses have properly made disaster plans for their businesses. The most vulnerable are the regional operators and local trader. In Sri L there average of about 20 regional operators are stepped down or declared bankrupt in a year and about 2300 local businesses go out of circulation. Within a given year about 10 regional businesses and 1450 local businesses are newly registered. These middle and local level businesses have no disaster plan other than depending on family or friendly support they can gather in case of financial, technical or human resource emergency. However, there is an emerging scenario of releasing systems in Sri Lanka which is at its infancy.
The best disaster plan for businesses of regional or local level is to use of a plan of prevention with reference to financial, technical and human resources. The effect of natural disasters is also having a considerable impact on business in Sri Lanka. The total damage caused to business in Sri Lanka by south Asian Mega Tsunami is estimated at about 6 billion rupees. Loss of income over the next five years was estimated at 250 billion rupees. The effect of 2003 floods was estimated at about 6 billion rupees and the 2006 floods and slides have caused about 13 billion rupee damage to businesses. The damage to businesses from natural disasters are on the increase in Sri Lanka is mainly due to their indifference to scientific advice on site and drainage. (Use details from the discussion on risk in Chapter 4)
Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions
Disaster management is an essential requirement of any society today because loss of life cannot be replaced, valued and there is no answer to trauma of loss. Further as science and technology has become a part of our daily lives there is a possibility to utilise knowledge to minimise damage and loss from disaster. For example Malaysia managed to reduce its Tsunamis damage by about 80 percent by utilising the best possible wave breakers in the holiday beaches. Further most of the properly built hotel structures and hotels with a good security system were able to save most of the lives. The accurate warnings on hurricane Katrina saved about 10,000 lives as most of the knowledgeable people of the heavily damaged area have willingly evacuated on the first advice given by the authorities. This is because the damage level of the modern disaster is closely related to the ability to evaluate the warnings given by the disaster management authorities and facilities provided for evacuation. Inability to give warnings is considered foolish in disaster management today as there are many prediction systems which can provide a fairly accurate warning on most of the serious hazards faced by humans except for earthquakes, though their reliability may vary from place to place and time to time. At the end of this book the first call made to the public authorities in 1998 and 2003 is made again “We in Sri Lanka have to suffer heavy economic damage amounting to about 30 billion rupees to bring back the areas to operational level and according to popular news, it may take about one third of our budgetary allocations this year to fully rehabilitate the damage over a period of five years. Will we be able to sustain this programme in case of continuing natural disasters? The answer is no. We have to follow the scientific evidences and be ready for the future.
All the developed countries have mega plans to face the impending natural disasters. They have food, medical supplies and service stocks in hand with disaster prediction, control and management organizations. Please begin a long-term restructuring of environment in the hazardous zones. The technology and expertise required for a fairly reliable prediction is available in Sri Lanka, specially in the university departments on which the management authority can rely on for prediction and spatio–temporality of disaster. Low cost scientific monitoring and recording systems are available in disaster study systems of the world. However, the missing link in the developing countries is will to utilise the scientific system of disaster management in the prediction and the identification of spatio-temporality. This type of failures is associated with governance and planning in the developing countries which must change if impact of disaster is to be reduced in the developing world. The developing world situation can be generally applied to Sri Lanka, where scientific environmental planning is yet to be fully established and disaster management is developed as a scientific project. Recommendations There is no need for a detailed list of recommendations as many times in the past many scientists and project reports on disaster management have produced many sets of comprehensive list of recommendations. However, the effect of flooding, landslides and unsafe roads have not reduced to an acceptable minimum. This is mainly due to low scientific knowledge of the impending disasters and socio-political corruption which has not installed any environmental management plan for the country. The call made in 2003 is made again “Please begin a long-term restructuring of environment in the hazardous zones”.
In this process Apply PODS in Sri Lanka and 1. Construct a detailed environmental management plan for the nation 2. Involve university researches and departments as regional offices of disaster management 3. Employ environmental management students qualifying from Sri Lankan universities in their respective home areas as disaster observation officers. 4. These will form the backbone of future disaster managers, who will have a better understanding on local situations. 5. Reduce socio-political corruption to a level which will not affect environmental management planning. Note to humanity Disaster cannot be stopped and it can only be controlled. Disaster management based on modern environmental management is the only way to reduce risk from disaster and disaster control. The value of this approach is confirmed by the status of disaster control in developed countries, where impact of disaster is reduced to a possible minimum. For example, disaster control in developed countries has managed to reduce the impact of disaster by about 60 to 70 percent of the expected loss in the last 5 to 10 years. The impact of disaster in developing countries is rising at an alarming rate of about 10 to 20 percent each year and the impact reduction in them is only capable of reducing loss by about 5 to 10 percent. Nonutilisation of environmental planning, non-adherence to scientific knowledge and political and bureaucratic corruption are constantly given as major reasons for heavy loss in disasters in the developing countries. Therefore the able in the developing countries have to resort to private enterprise for help through insurance and investment, but the poor suffers heavily during and aftermath of disaster. However, information on disaster situations can be obtained from universities on request and listening to media where university academics write on future of disaster.
The Department of Social Sciences / Environmental Management, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, has a hazard warning System in place operated by the author. All interested are advised to contact for general and specific threats of disaster in relation to natural and societal hazards in Sri Lanka. Advice on risk, disaster probability and disaster control in relation to land evaluation and constructions of all types can be obtained on request from the author.
Appendix A Human Disasters Fire: Any fire occurring in vegetation areas, regardless of ignition sources, damages or benefits. Death/poor health/general sickness: over and beyond expectation and directly due to a particular external cause of causes. Contamination of food products or water or the environment that result in deaths or injuries. War/conflict/terrorism. Armed conflict is defined as a political conflict in which armed combat involves the armed forces of at least one state (or one or more armed factions seeking to gain control of all or part of the state), and in which at least 1,000 people have been killed by the fighting during the course of the conflict. Workplace violence where the cause of the injuries and/or deaths is directly linked to the working environment of those affected. Technical Disasters Danger originating from technological or industrial accidents, dangerous procedures, infrastructure failures or certain human activities, which may cause loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation. Technical disasters include: Power cuts and communication failure. Explosions involving domestic, industrial and nonindustrial buildings or structures. Oil spills and chemical spills. An accidental release occurring during the production, transportation or handling of disastrous chemical substances. Nuclear-reactor failures, chemical mishaps.
Breakdown of computer networks. Gas leaks.
Poisoning of atmosphere or water courses due to industrial sources. Cooling/heating/ventilation system failure. According to ISDR, technical disasters can be classified in three groups: industrial accidents, transport accidents and miscellaneous accidents. Industrial accidents include chemical spills, collapses of industrial infrastructures, explosions, fires, gas leaks, poisoning and radiation. Transport accidents include air, rail, road and water transport. Miscellaneous accidents include the collapse of domestic and non-industrial structures, explosions and fires.
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