Disaster Resilience in Multi-hazard Geographies: How optimal are Uganda’s early warning systems?

Authors: Yazidhi Bamutaze*, Makerere University, Department of Geography, Geo-Informatics and Climatic Scinces
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Hazards and Vulnerability, Africa
Keywords: Disaster Resilience, Early warning systems, Mountain, Socio-ecology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon A3, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

A significant number of projections points to futuristic increasing frequency, magnitude and intensity of natural hazards in fragile landscapes in Uganda owing to increasing climate variability and climate change. Most disasters in Uganda have been triggered by hydro-meteorological events. It is projected that disaster situations will increase owing to the demographic conditions, landscape fragility and socio-economic conditions. One of the interventions undertaken being to reduce risks to disasters has been the introduction of Early Warning Systems (EWS). How optimal are the established EWS under the existing socio-ecological conditions? In this study, we assess the suitability of EWS for disaster resilience in varied geographies. The study is being conducted on Mt. Elgon and entails inventory, survey and questionnaires. Preliminary findings indicate a predominance of weather stations installation as EWS. However, these are not in conformity with the complex ecological and socio-economic conditions of the region. Data generated from the EWS flows unidirectional upwards to agencies and cannot be accessed in a timely manner by local governments for warning purposes. Neither is information interpreted and conveyed to the end users for timely action. Developing EWS that are in conformity with the geographical conditions of the region is pertinent to disaster resilient communities.

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