Local Knowledge: Local knowledge is a collection of facts and relates to the entire system of concepts, beliefs and perceptions that people hold about the world around them. This includes the way people observe and measure their surroundings, how they solve problems and validate new information. It includes the processes whereby knowledge is generated, stored, applied and transmitted to others. (Warburton and Martin ,1999)
Disaster: A disaster is an extreme disruption of the functioning of a society that causes widespread human, material, or environmental losses that exceed the ability of the affected society to cope using only its own resources. “(Quarantelli E.L. 1998)
Hazards: Refers to the potential occurrence, in a specific time period and geographic area, of a natural phenomenon that may adversely affect human life, property or activity to the extent of causing a disaster. (Quarantelli E.L. 1998)
Vulnerability: Susceptibility to loss, damage, destruction, or casualty from potential disasters.(Dorothea Hilhorst. 2004)
Mitigation : T he permanent reduction of the disaster risk and can be categorized as “primary mitigation” which refers to reducing the presence of the hazard and of the vulnerability, and “secondary mitigation”, which refers to reducing the impact of the hazard. (David MacCollum , 2006)
Preparedness : C overs the measures that insure the organized mobilization of personel, funds, equipment and supplies within a safe environment for effective relief, “response” can be defined as the set of activities implemented after the impact of a disaster in order to assess the needs, reduce the suffering, limit the spread and the consequences of the disaster and open the way to rehabilitation. (David MacCollum , 2006)
The literature suggest that Disaster is a very complex phenomena which starts at pre-disaster and its linkages goes on the ill planning and attribute and preferences.
In the past there is limited or in the form of ad hoc studies that explores casual linkages and relationships between pre-disaster and mitigation stages. Recent flood in Pakistan is typical example of ill planning to handle the disaster situation in sindh.
The study attempts basically to review, what could be the part of local knowledge that may influence public policy towards revising sustainable policy to handling disaster situation.
People in the costal area significantly lack public response (i.e., education; employment opportunities; health and etc). Consequently, poverty has risen alarmingly in the area.
In weak public policy illiteracy, poverty and mishandling of natural resources are the significant causes towards disasters.
The incidence disasters in coastal areas has increase in past 20 yeas, consequently loss of property and correlated damages have been significantly increased.
There is ample avoidances that shows significant relationship between pre and post disasters management and the role of local knowledge. However, public sector response and strategies fail to optimize the knowledge base.
Figure 4 shows that in the study area women’s economic condition is very worst which is leading to less participation in decision making and make them most vulnerable of the society. In the study area 80% of 360 respondents were earning less than 5000 per month. Among these 360, 90 are women and 71% of them are unemployed and 16% of 270 men are unemployed. Which is clearly indicating trends of poverty and lack of resources, which leads vulnerability of community. Source: Study survey 2010 Respondents Number Percentage Men 270 75 Women 90 25 Total 360 100
Figure 5 shows that in the study area of both districts 15% of total respondents are unemployed. Due to massive losses in disasters people’s trends from traditional occupations (i.e. farming and fisheries) has been changed into labor. Moreover as they are unskilled so they are not getting according to their needs. Source: Study survey 2010
Figure 6 shows that, in stead of modern hospitals in the area, there are only few Basic health units with low standard equipments, which are also not in the access of the people because of the distance. About 45% of total BHUs are at the distance of 6 to 10 KM, in remote and poor infrastructural area utilizing this facility is impossible. Source: Study survey 2010
Figure 8 shows that in selected villages of study schooling situation is alarming, only 9 percent people have the access to high schools. At primary and middle level there is no significant difference. Only 21% have the access to middle schools because government did not took any interest to educate this community. Source: Study survey 2010
Source: IFAD 2010. Spate Irrigation, Livelihood Improvement and. Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change
Figure 9 shows that vulnerability is related to level of preparedness for any disaster. Community are found less sustainable when they are poor to social and economic impact.
Figure 10 shows that, rate of disasters increased in last decade as compared to last 53 years. This is due to impacts of global climate change after 1990s in Pakistan. Source: Quarterly Journal of PDMA-PaRRSA, August 2010
Source: Global natural disaster occurrence and impact: 1980–2007.
Fig 16 shows that different type of disasters came in sindh province. From 1947 to 2010 most of these disasters, Flood and Cyclone are on top rank. These floods and cyclone damages life of millions people, socially and economically. Source: Provincial Disaster Management Authority (2008). DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN SINDH PROVINCE
Fig 17 shows overall trend of rate of disaster occurrences in last decade throughout the country, the Sindh province faced increasing number of disasters from late last decade to till now. Moreover , increasing climate changes further put Southern region of country i.e. Sindh towards greater number of expected disasters due to its geological position. Source: Provincial Disaster Management Authority (2008). DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN SINDH PROVINCE
Figure 18 shows that as compared to all other countries in South Asia, Pakistan bear most losses. However, the severity of any natural hazard is approximately same in whole South Asia, but Pakistan impacted most because of people’s vulnerability as well as because of mismanagement in disaster management. Source: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. Islamabad, Pakistan. September 27, 2010
From Fig 19 it is clear that most affected districts from different disasters in sindh province are Karachi, Badin and Thatta. These areas are mostly coastal areas, and among these Thatta and Badin are more vulnerable because of their socio-economic condition. Source: Provincial Disaster Management Authority (2008). DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN SINDH PROVINCE
Table 3. shows the damages to target population in previous disasters from 1999 to 2010. Table shows extreme losses in life, property, livestock and assets and massive displacement has been occurred. Source: Study survey 2010 Damages Assessment of Study Area in Previous Disasters (Percentage) Life Displacement Property Livestock Assets Badin 11 52 41 42 24 Thatta 19 59 47 44 28
Above figure shows after disaster situation. Fig 20.1 shows overall support provided by different stakeholders to disasters victims. Only 6% of total respondents got support from different organizations including government. Rest of 94% did by their selves or by support of community or did not get any support. Which is alarming situation. Means this community can’t resist to any disaster in future. Source: Study survey 2010
Fig 19 Show that among 360 respondents only 21% got Disaster mitigation training like awareness, emergency response and 15.83% out of 360 got support in construction. With out any technical and financial support people repeated pre-disaster construction pattern which did not bring any change in their vulnerability against disasters. Source: Study survey 2010
As pressure release model shows that pressure from three progressions of vulnerability is increasing and from other side expected hazards are also increasing, therefore in the cohesion of hazard and vulnerability “ risk ” is increasing and hence put the whole population in exposure.
Incorporate local knowledge in disaster management
local knowledge practices should be used because of their c ost effectiveness and to build local trust that ultimately could help in motivating local communities
Sustainable measures could be develop to predict disasters using their a bility to identify and interpret early warning signals of cyclone based on environmental indicators, weather interpretations/ predictions, smells, sounds, direction and types of wind, unusual appearance and movements of wildlife etc
Ability of local population to interpret the landscape and indicators of past cyclones such as the location of past cyclones by looking at the shape, direction, and nature of the wind, sea waves, geology, morphology, etc could help in forecasting disasters.
Post-disaster measures could be applied at right time.
Pre-disaster measures could be implemented smoothly