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Preventing natural disasters from becoming human tragedies

Disasters are bound to come anytime and anywhere. Climate change has led to so many of these that are reported worldwide, particularly in the US. 2012 alone saw the American heartland suffer the worst drought in 50 years, leading to a loss of crops and increased food prices. The summers are experiencing more extreme heat than usual, which has triggered wildfires in Colorado and other states in America. Other parts of the world have experienced the effects of climate change engendering famine and destroying livelihoods. Reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, extreme weather could worsen in the coming few years, leading to a food crisis, thus rendering many at risk of starvation.

Preventing natural disasters from becoming human tragedies 1

Image Credit: Furniture Plus Online

Disasters are inevitable and can only be anticipated; here are several tips on minimizing natural disasters’ damage.

Early famine warning systems

There are indeed sophisticated warning systems that can help predict a famine almost a year ahead of time. But these would help if the action were taken in advance. For instance, Oxfam and Save the children did a joint report regarding the famine in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, which revealed that the concerned parties’ early action would have prevented over a hundred thousand deaths; over fifty percent were children below the age of five years. Early interventions will not only save lives but also would be more cost-effective. A study in northern Kenya found that it was three times more expensive to restock livestock than to keep them through supplementary feeding.

Having hunger products to address malnutrition

The most prevalent health condition whenever famine strikes are malnutrition. Therefore, having products that would help as supplements prior would help reduce the detrimental effects. World aid organizations have at their disposal tools that would help curb this. Plumpy nut, for example, is a peanut that contains vegetable oil, and vitamins, among other supplements, at a considerably low cost compared to fortified milk formulas. It is now regarded as the ‘miracle product’ which has streamlined many organizations’ aid operations. It took more than 2000 doctors to treat 10,000 children suffering from malnutrition in Angola, compared to 150 staff who attended to the same number of patients in Niger thanks to the Plumpy’ nut.

Giving cash-aid to the poor

About ten years ago, giving money to the poor as an emergency response for the individuals affected by natural disasters was not widely accepted. Cash and cash-for-work initiatives have been used to help vulnerable families get back on their feet and support their local economy. Providing resources to families allows them to prioritize their needs, giving them the power to plan their lives.

Use of mobile technology to inform and empower citizens

With over 79 percent mobile phone penetration in the developing world, households now have access to information on an impending weather pattern and respond to such. For instance, ‘Blueline’ is a mobile technology service used in Egypt that helps disseminate information about water availability so that villagers know when and where to access water for themselves and their crops.

Climate change, famine, droughts, wildfires, and other disasters are bound to come. It is more expensive to prevent than cure such tragedies’ effects. Thus, the most important thing is to have prevention mechanisms to prevent human tragedies.

About author

I work for WideInfo and I love writing on my blog every day with huge new information to help my readers. Fashion is my hobby and eating food is my life. Social Media is my blood to connect my family and friends.
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