Tuesday, April 23, 2024
African Researchers Magazine (ISSN: 2714-2787) - premier source for
African research, science and scholarly news
Tel: +447448171011 | Email: editor@africanresearchers.org
Address: Suite A, 82 James Carter Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7DE, UK.
African research, science and scholarly  news
HomeRESEARCH PAPERSEnhancing Disaster Risk Reduction in South Africa: Community Engagement and Digital Strategies

Enhancing Disaster Risk Reduction in South Africa: Community Engagement and Digital Strategies

Unlocking Resilience: Community Power in South Africa's Disaster Prep 🌟 #DRR #CommunityEngagement

A recent study by Muhame, et al., (2024) titled “Dissemination and Participation in early warnings and Disaster Risk Reduction in South Africa” published in Jàmbá-Journal of Disaster Risk Studies, shows that community volunteers and ward committee members were identified as key initiators in the disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster preparedness planning process.

Community volunteers and ward committee members are pivotal initiators in disaster risk reduction and preparedness planning in South Africa.– Muhame et al., 2024

The article explores the challenges and strategies related to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and early warning systems (EWS) in urban informal settlements in South Africa. The article defines EWS and discusses their importance in communicating hazards to the public and preparing them for disaster risks.
The authors emphasize the role of climate services in forecasting potential hazards and the need for local government involvement in DRR to mitigate climate-induced risks at the community level. The study further highlights the gap in DRR information dissemination and public engagement in informal settlements, advocating for increased community participation in DRR planning. In addition, the research conducted in Khayalitjha informal settlement reveals that community volunteers and ward committee members are crucial in initiating DRR and disaster preparedness planning. Preferred communication channels for early warnings include churches, schools, and social media platforms. The article contributes to the understanding of urban resilience and the need for inclusive DRR strategies that involve local communities, particularly in high-risk areas. It also calls for capacity building and policy implementation at the local level to enhance DRR management and information dissemination.

How the Study was Conducted

The research was focused on the Khayalitjha informal settlement in Bloemfontein, South Africa, which is part of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality. The study employed a mixed-method approach with Computer Telephone Interviews (CATIs) and Paper Assisted Personal Interviews (PAPI). A sample size of 5% of the total households (approximately 415) was targeted, with 295 households ultimately participating. The authors employed a quantitative methods survey, the data collection was facilitated by Community Preferred Process Facilitators, and ethical clearance was obtained from the University of the Free State General/Human Research Ethics Committee.

What the Authors Found

The authors found that community volunteers and ward committee members were identified as key initiators in the disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster preparedness planning process. The authors also posit that Churches, schools, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were the preferred modes of communication for disseminating early warnings and disaster information. These findings aim to enhance DRR information dissemination strategies to in situ informal settlements, extending beyond the communication and public participation advocacy strategies of local municipal urban cities.

Why is this Important

Community Resilience: Understanding community involvement and preferred communication channels allows for more effective disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies. When residents actively participate in DRR planning, their resilience increases, and they become better equipped to handle potential hazards.
Lives and Livelihoods: Early warnings play a pivotal role in saving lives and protecting livelihoods. By identifying the most effective communication channels, authorities can disseminate critical information promptly, enabling residents to take necessary precautions.
Policy and Implementation: The study emphasizes the role of local government in DRR management. Policymakers can use these findings to allocate resources, enhance capacity, and implement targeted interventions in informal settlements.
Inclusivity: Recognizing the importance of community voices ensures that DRR strategies are inclusive and culturally sensitive. By involving residents, solutions can be tailored to their specific needs and contexts.

What the Authors Recommend

  • The authors suggest that local governments should enhance human resource capacity for disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) information dissemination at a local level.
  • The authors further posit that legislative structures need to be strengthened to gain the trust of informal settlement communities.
  • In addition, the authors recommend that communities should embrace the rapid digitalisation to improve DRRM and disaster preparedness plans.

In conclusion, the study underscores the critical role of community engagement, digitalization, and inclusive strategies in enhancing disaster risk reduction efforts, particularly in South Africa’s urban informal settlements. By empowering local stakeholders, embracing effective communication channels, and implementing tailored policies, we can collectively foster greater resilience and safety within vulnerable communities. As we navigate the complexities of disaster management, collaboration among all stakeholders remains paramount in building a more secure and sustainable future for all.

Cite this article as (APA format):

AR Managing Editor (2024). Enhancing Disaster Risk Reduction in South Africa: Community Engagement and Digital Strategies. Retrieved from https://www.africanresearchers.org/enhancing-disaster-risk-reduction-in-south-africa-community-engagement-and-digital-strategies/

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share your research

Share your research with African Researchers Magazine
Share your research with African Researchers Magazine

Share Your Research Findings

- Advertisment -

Most Popular