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Importance Of Media In Risk Reduction And Management In Southern Africa

2921 words - 12 pages

Q; Examine the significance of media in disaster risk reduction and disaster management in Southern Africa.

In recent years a larger number of communities have had to bear the adverse effectsof hazards .The Southern part of Africa which is the study area of this script has experienced more frequent disasters most significantly droughts ,earthquakes ,fires and floods to mention but just a few.The media has however, intriguingly pulled an enormous stunt directed towards reducing the risk and managing these disasters.It has been a powerful force that has influenced policy change and bridged the information gap between communities and governments. Various schools of thought have contended ...view middle of the document...

He further poses that the damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and varies with the geographical location, climate and the type of the earth surface or degree of vulnerability. He further views that, it influences the mental, socio-economic, political and cultural state of the affected area. It is viewed generally that, disaster has greatly abrupt effects that include, completely disrupting the normal day to day life, negatively influencing the emergency systems , affecting and deteriorating normal needs and processes like food, shelter, health among other prerequisites . This profoundly depicts disaster as the deadly inferno it is to human life and human development. As such media has had the great potential opportunity to prove its relevance to aiding development in society by chipping in through mitigating and preparing communities for disasters and their effects.

Literature reveals that disasters have disproportionately affected poor countries and poor communities mostly in cases. Scholars view that more than half of the deaths resulting from natural disasters occur in low human development countries. Poor countries suffer far greater losses relative to their GDP than richer countries . Most African societies have been victims to destabilization and exposure of thousands of vulnerable communities to abject poverty.The media however has appealingly provided much needed motivation in risk mitigation and disaster preparedness in many societies according to Nicholas (2010). Contributions made by the media have saved lives and reduced economic losses to a considerable extent.

Mainstreaming media into the emergence cycle has been one but great measure taken by policy makers towards the cause of disasters.This cycle include stages of mitigation, preparedness ,response and recovery. To this media has staged an appropriately significant act.Where ,mitigation includes any activities that prevent a disaster, reduce the chance of a disaster happening, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable disasters. Preparedness includes plans or preparations made to save lives or property, and to help the response and rescue service operations. Response includes actions taken to save lives and prevent property damage, and to preserve the environment during emergencies or disasters. The response phase is the implementation of action plans.Recovery includes actions that assist a community to return to a sense of normality after a disaster.Media has undertaken to educate ,warn, gather and transmit information ,alert government officials ,attract relief services among its captivating duties.

Consequently, media has played a significantly constructive role as an early warning system contrary to the destructive nature of disasters. Media has been the best early warning system which has helped in acute crisis. According toDwivedi (2010) an Early Warning system is any system of biological or technical nature deployed by an individual or group to...

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