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Pre-emptive Disasters Management: Can Technology and Innovation be of Help?


Ecuador experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2016 which killed more than 600 people and injured about thirty thousand, with an estimated economic loss of over $3 billion. Regrettably, occurrences like these are becoming rampant. Natural disasters are steadily on the rise, posing a threat to the lives of people all over the world and the growth of economies.
 
Factually, losses stemming from natural disasters have almost quadrupled what they were ten years ago, from the 1980s figure which stood at $50 billion to nearly $200 billion yearly in the least ten years. The low earners are the worst hit in such situation, the poor experienced just over a quarter of the total floods however, they made up 90% of the casualties.
 
Trends like increase in population and rising urbanization are worsening the loss in vulnerable regions. About 1.4 people migrate to the cities weekly, with a large proportion of them happening in Asia and Africa. Also, climate change poses a threat to 100million people which are estimated to be driven into poverty by 2030. Instances like these shows that the risk from disasters is on the increase.
 
A growing number of communities, international firms and governments are discovering that great investments in readiness and resilience can prevent natural disasters from being catastrophic to humans. Investments in areas like this also provide jobs, boost economic growth, enhance equality in gender, protect the environment, and offer more educational opportunities hence, helping to meet the required development goals by 2030.
 
Correct and trusted disaster risk information is the bedrock of a fruitful investment. Reiterating a World Bank-managed partnership of 34 countries and nine international organizations, -the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) which promotes the view that governments should make investments before the occurrence of disasters through fast, rigorous and frequent risk identification. Government and people globally are leveraging on technology to access information relating to risk disasters.
 
With several breakthroughs in research and technology which are both affordable and accessible, an opportunity exists for communities, development practitioners, and policy makers to equip themselves with information on the best ways to prepare for disasters. With climate change posing a huge disaster risk leading to an erosion of development benefits, there is no better time to employ a serious, smarter and more active approach to disaster risk management.