University of Sussex
Ayeb-Karlsson_et_al-2019-Disasters.pdf (303.71 kB)

I will not go, I cannot go: cultural and social limitations of disaster preparedness in Asia, Africa, and Oceania

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 18:56 authored by Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson, Dominic KnivetonDominic Kniveton, Terry Cannon, Kees van der Geest, Istiakh Ahmed, Erin M Derrington, Ebinezer Florano, Denis Opiyo Opoyo
While much work has been invested in addressing the economic and technical basis of disaster preparedness, less effort has been directed towards understanding the cultural and social obstacles to and opportunities for disaster risk reduction. This paper presents local insights from five different national settings into the cultural and social contexts of disaster preparedness. In most cases, an early warning system was in place, but it failed to alert people to diverse environmental shocks. The research findings show that despite geographical and typological differences in these locations, the limitations of the systems were fairly similar. In Kenya, people received warnings, but from contradictory systems, whereas in the Philippines and on the island of Saipan, people did not understand the messages or take them seriously. In Bangladesh and Nepal, however, a deeper cultural and religious reasoning serves to explain disasters, and how to prevent them or find safety when they strike.


Gibika, the Resilience Academy; Munich Re Foundation


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