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September 19, 2018

Disaster prevention, preparedness is better than cure

  • Rising costs from natural disasters over the last three decades have urged the Asian governments to invest more in disaster preparedness to lessen damage from calamities.
    Myanmar ranked 42nd in 171 countries of the world that are most at risk to natural disaster and ranked 15th highest in the world for a lack of readiness in responding to natural disasters.
    It is obvious that we need to be ready to resist and respond to natural disasters.If we want to overcome the challenges posed by natural calamities, more needs to be done.
    More needs to be done if Asia is to overcome the challenges posed by natural calamities.
    Myanmar needs to find a system or a scheme which can provide a sustainable solution to preventing losses caused by disasters instead of annually providing aid to farmers in the aftermath, said Vice President U Henry Van Thio at the meeting with authorities and associations in Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday to seek ways for reducing the impacts of the disasters.
    The meeting was held to seek ways for effectively dealing with the recent floods which destroyed more than 600,000 acres of vegetable crops and nearly 400,000 acres of paddy in 2018.
    With the process of climate change happening all over the world, many kinds of natural disasters are threatening people of the world all the time. Generally speaking, now is the time for us to take constant notice of floods, storms, volcanic eruptions as well as earthquakes.
    At the meeting, the Vice President disclosed a scheme under which the farmers whose crops were destroyed by disasters in 2018 would be supplied with seeds and inputs, such as fertilizer, worth billions of kyats in a timely manner so that they can get back on their feet in terms of food security.
    The meeting was held to seek ways for effectively dealing with the agricultural sector, which is largely hit by disasters every year, and for providing remedies to the country’s basic production sector.
    We should think about which per cent of the total spending for natural disasters goes to preparedness and prevention and which per cent should be spent on response.
    Because, a new study on impacts of disasters shows that every investment in prevention would bring four to seven times savings in terms of reduction in damage.
    In some countries, it is found that only 4 per cent of the total spending for natural disasters goes to preparedness and prevention while 96 per cent is spent on response.
    Our investments also should go to technology, innovation, advanced information and vigilant local governments and the public for disaster preparedness as they are playing an important role in alleviating the effects of disasters and in reducing risks from calamities.

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