Better foundations will change the outcome
The UNISDR is sharing a four page report with 12 steps to improve disaster preparation. But this image tells more of a story than most of the words in the document – Yet it will not be discussed … What you will read is:
“Even though some countries may have strengthened their ability to manage risk and reduce exposure, any such improvements have failed to offset the very rapid increase in new dimensions of risk that are fuelled by rapid economic growth and urbanisation e.g. nonresilient buildings and infrastructure, which have passed their expected lifespan. Existing land-use planning and building regulation are often incapable of properly assessing and addressing disaster risk in rapidly urbanizing areas.”
Mixing Concrete On the Ground
Not one of the 12 tips suggested in the report mentions producing stronger concrete, but it should. The image above shows a worker using a shovel on the ground to create concrete. This method of mixing has proven to make a weak concrete that causes billions of dollars worth of tragedy and destruction on our planet every year. Without strong concrete practices these 12 tips rest upon a shaky foundation.The suggestion to – “Invest above and beyond codes” is the closest mention to changing the construction systems of poor countries.
But if you don’t fix the broken concrete supply chains, places like Wenchuan County will be leveled by 5.12 earthquakes time and time again. Solid infrastructure needs good materials – Disaster risk reduction rests on a strong foundation, built with concrete.
Disaster risk reduction spending
Many are suggesting that we are not allocating enough international funds on disaster risk reduction. Reports suggest that much more should be spent in post-disaster reconstruction to prevent the escalating costs from these modern disasters. When one dollar spent on strengthening will save seven dollars in relief, it is time to take away the shovels and change international development for good.
There are useful and sustainable ways to create strong foundations in the poorest nations. If the aid community would find a way to join hands with the concrete industry, we could change this problem and save trillions…
We stand ready to work on this issue – We just need to get the ear of those who write these interesting reports….