Floods and Regional Disaster Preparedness: Too Little, Too Late?


Heavy rains in Thailand and Cambodia since July 2011 have resulted in high socio-economic costs from flood damage and has claimed at least 500 lives. For Thailand with areas only two metres above sea level, the flood is said to be the country’s worst in the past 50 years, with a third of its provinces declared disaster zones. However, such incidents are not all that new nor unexpected, for two main reasons:

Picture by Philip Roeland

Firstly, various studies have highlighted the increasing vulnerability of Southeast Asian countries to weather–related disasters. Among these is the Report by the International Development Research Centre, which has highlighted areas in Southeast Asia that are highly vulnerable to various environmental hazards. Similarly, other reports, such as those by the World Bank, United Nations and World Wide Fund have highlighted the socio-economic factors that increase vulnerabilities, such as rising population densities in cities. Secondly, there is existing knowledge and solutions to control floods, based on the region’s long experience with disasters. These factors are particularly significant in Southeast Asia, which is home to at least three megacities – Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila.

Yet, in spite of such information, there remains a strong dose of inertia within states to effectively integrate climate change adaptation strategies with disaster preparedness…

To read the rest of this commentary published by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies [in pdf],  please click here.

Advertisements

Reviewing our environment in 2012

Think saving the planet is that easy? Think again. If trying to understand the complex interactions between sciences, economics, culture, … [Read More...]

Poll #1: Are Muslims Eco-friendly?

This will be the first of many more polls to come. This one might be sound a bit general, but its just to get a sense of  your preceptions. … [Read More...]

From MINDEF to MEWR

A media report earlier this month noted that a former Defence Chief, Lieutenant-General Desmond Kuek, would appointed to Permanent Secretary … [Read More...]

To be a Canossian Star.

I was invited to be the Guest of Honour at the 2012 Canossian Awards. This ceremony is an annual event organised by my alma mater - St … [Read More...]

Get Real, Not Hysterical : Thoughts on Singapore’s Flashfloods

"HAAAH???! ORCHARD ROAD KENA FLOODED, AH?!" was a common phrase muttered (in true Singlish fashion)  by many shocked Singaporeans on 16 June … [Read More...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: