Africa has the second highest disaster risk after Oceania, the continent with the highest overall societal vulnerability – 12 of the 15 most vulnerable countries in the world are located in Africa according to the World Risk Report 2021. Some examples:
– The eruption of the volcano on Mount Nyiragongo in the city of Goma in the DRC
– Swarms of locusts
– The floods in the Horn of Africa,
Cyclones and storms that brought heavy rains and floods to Comoros, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and more recently South Africa.
90% of major disasters in Africa are climate-related.
Disaster response is extremely slow and inefficient, largely reactive, focusing on immediate relief and rehabilitation while ignoring preventive disaster reduction measures.
An inadequate early warning system and the lack of translation of early warning into early action remain major obstacles. Disaster risk reduction programs have so far received little or no attention.
Inadequate funding has strongly affected disaster management
A huge gap between the needs of people exposed to disasters and the financing available,
Lack of sustainable and predictable funding as it largely depends on external sources.
What is the contribution of the media?
Most of the media coverage focuses on the disaster response phase where we assess damages and account for casualties because we follow the trend of disaster management centricity instead of risk management,
The media still does not consistently use and disseminate available information, even as it contributes to today’s growing interest in disaster issues.
Current disaster productions are governed by the same approach, focusing on the event itself and not on its causes and potential reduction,
Disasters are better understood – and better dealt with – as ‘processes’ not as ‘mere events’.
The international community’s new approach to disaster management is to increase effective and proactive risk management efforts to build resilience.
African Union of Broadcasting’s Symposium on Disasters Management
Dakar, June 2022
Presentation: The Role of African Media in Disasters Management
Author: Gérard Sènakpon Guèdègbé
Download the full presentation here:
Source: African Union of Broadcasting, https://www.uar-aub.org/single-post/climate-africa-facing-vulnerabilities