Disaster Risk Reduction

Disaster risk exists because of some special combination of hazards, exposure and vulnerability that couple with lack of adaptation capacities that puts populations, groups, communities, towns, regions or even countries in a position where they face the real possibility of significant loss and damage to their livelihoods, capital stocks, and infrastructure. The hazard side of this equation is projected now to be more complex due to climate change induced and increased hydro-meteorological stress in the future.

Such climate change induced physical stress compounded by impacts on vulnerability and exposure may take the form of changing climate averages or the form of non-routine events from the small and recurrent through to the extreme events. Faced with existing and possible future risk contexts society and its parts (families, individuals, government, private corporations, etc.) have opportunities for managing, reducing, preventing or living with such risk. Clearly managing non-routine event risk is not the same as managing every day or small disaster associated with extensive risk, but all are needed and complimentary.

However risks play off against each other and in resolving one we may in fact increase others. For example reduction of intensive disaster risk, through say relocation of people from exposed areas, may in fact mean sacrificing resources and opportunities for employment, production and breaking up of social networks and kinship groups, thus making people more vulnerable to a host of potential other kinds of risks.

People live in exposed areas for a reason – they are available more cheaply, located close to livelihood opportunities or may be the only land that one can settle on. This project seeks to understand the political, economic and institutional contexts of relocation and resettlement, and how the outcomes impact people’s resilience across timescales in Kampala. 

More about this project (External Site)