Avoiding disaster / Columns / The Foreigner

Avoiding disaster. The horrible images yet again flash across our screens: Rubble, screams, and the injured being treated in the streets. Another major disaster. To be human is to want to help, especially from Norway which is one the best countries to live in. Notwithstanding the potential for a national calamity, such as a tsunami or even an earthquake, the country is relatively safe, secure, and affluent. From the comfort of our homes, we see those who had no choice but to live in shoddy buildings, now suffering because of it. We see those without our options becoming even poorer because society knows how to avoid disasters, but politics mean that we often do not.

climate, earthquakes



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



Columns Article

LATEST:

Avoiding disaster

Published on Saturday, 2nd May, 2015 at 08:12 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

The horrible images yet again flash across our screens: Rubble, screams, and the injured being treated in the streets. Another major disaster.

Quito
Could Quito be next? Let's work now to avoid disaster.Quito
Photo: Ilan Kelman


To be human is to want to help, especially from Norway which is one the best countries to live in. Notwithstanding the potential for a national calamity, such as a tsunami or even an earthquake, the country is relatively safe, secure, and affluent.

From the comfort of our homes, we see those who had no choice but to live in shoddy buildings, now suffering because of it. We see those without our options becoming even poorer because society knows how to avoid disasters, but politics mean that we often do not.

It is natural to wish to donate money and supplies, to jump on the next plane to start rebuilding, and to respond to appeals from the disaster zone. Much of that is needed, if done correctly.

But much more is also needed. In particular, disaster prevention. Let's harness the post-disaster compassion and empathy to think ahead of the next disaster--and to avert it.

We knew that the Kathmandu earthquake would strike. I had friends and colleagues in Nepal at the time working to reduce disaster vulnerability there.

Quito, Dhaka, Port Vila, and many others emulate Kathmandu in seismic vulnerability. They also imitate Nepal in having exceptional local organisations working across development issues. They aim to improve their own country, helping those who can least help themselves.

We cannot neglect the people who need help now due to yesterday's catastrophe. We can put some of our response energy towards those who every day aim at avoiding becoming 'yesterday's catastrophe'.

Ilan Kelman is a Reader in Risk, Resilience and Global Health at University College London.



Published on Saturday, 2nd May, 2015 at 08:12 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

This post has the following tags: climate, earthquakes.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!