Relaymedia

Relief Agencies Reinforce Disaster Prevention

( [email protected] ) Feb 26, 2004 01:25 PM EST

According to BBS, a Christian development and relief agency is calling for disaster prevention rather than reaching out to help after the disaster comes.

Tearfund, a Christian development and relief agency, asserted that it is a way to save many lives and that it is economically and morally beneficial to put more efforts in strengthening disaster prevention.

Tearfund reported that relief agencies from around the world including the United Nations, the European Union and the US, UK and Canadian governments, are looking into the programs for disaster prevention.

Before Disaster Strikes also expressed disappointment saying that it is “indefensible and immoral” not to help poor people prevent misfortune because all it needs is “the simplest measures” to save thousands of lives.

The report's author Sarah La Trobe said: "There must be new thinking about how we do aid work.

"Focusing primarily on emergency responses like air drops of food and pulling people from the rubble is no longer enough. Disasters can be prevented and people equipped to save their own lives."

The report shows that developing countries are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters due to climate change, urbanization and poor land use. Of those killed, 98% are from poor countries, and by 2025 more than half the people living in the developing world will be highly vulnerable to floods and storms.

According to the report, in prevention of the disaster it was suggested to:

1. Build cyclone shelters and early warning systems in the Bay of Bengal

2. Build cyclone providing escape routes and warning systems in villages in the Indian state of Bihar, affected by annual flooding

3. Help poor Honduran communities vulnerable to flooding to move their homes to higher ground and to plant trees to prevent mudslides.