Good Friday to you! This week cast our gaze further afar, outside of our continent of North America to see how the rest of the world is coping with their emergency preparedness and emergency response to natural disasters and some not so natural.
We start our journey in Africa in Dadaab, eastern Kenya, which is home to the largest refugee complex in the world with a population of some 465,000, mainly Somali. Here, a recent fire in the main market in one of the camps destroyed large quantities of foodstuffs and other goods. Officials confirmed that 80% of the market was destroyed. A faulty electrical connections was confirmed to be the source of the fire, but numerous factors contributed to the almost complete devastation. The lack of water to extinguish the blaze once started, unorganized fire response, little preparedness in fire extinguishing, lack of security and the congested and disorganized Dagahaley maket were all key factors. Much work needs to be done by the participating agencies to ensure this type of fire does not happen again.
Our journey continues to India where the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation received poor marks after a disaster drill to check preparedness on the network. The drill included the Delhi Metro, police, traffic and health authorities and exposed the rail corporation’s poor crowd management and lack of basic emergency equipment. “DMRC had not given any directions to the Emergency Support Functionaries (ESFs), and at some stations there were common entry and exit gates. Some stations had no ramps for evacuating the differently-abled persons. Not only this, there was a lack of coordination with hospitals and first-aid kits contained improper and inadequate medicines,” said the audit report. Lot’s or work to be done here.
We finish our journey on top of the world in the Himalayas. An article from the Himalayan Times states: The UK Department for International Development announced vital funding support for earthquake preparedness in Nepal issuing a press release here in the capital on Thursday.
According to the statement the UK’s new disaster preparedness programme will strengthen Government of Nepal’s disaster risk management policy and support improved building code compliance. It will scale up community-based activities to build the resilience of 4 million people to earthquakes and other disasters, the statement reads. Kudo’s to the UK to reach out to an area of the world that if an earthquake would hit, would have “all the components of a cataclysmic tragedy. ”
Hope you enjoyed our trip around the globe and till next week… Keep Calm and Carry On.