Urban population is on the dramatic increase, and as Mizanur Rahman, Programme Officer in Islamic Relief Worldwide, writes in The Financial Express, the majority of the megacities in the world are in the developing countries and mostly exposed to earthquake, landslide, flooding and fire hazards. The article highlights the reasons that make large cities more vulnerable to disasters such as earthquakes,flooding or cyclones and warns that 7 out of 10 Asian cities are "prone to multi-hazard risks and are awaiting a catastrophic event."
Detailed recommendations to make cities safer include promoting hazard-reduction measures, capacity building for local governments, decentralization of decision making bodies, and the creation of institutional framework for action as well as implementation of building codes, urban planning guidelines and early warning systems, training, information management and using risk maps are other important tools.
Mr Rahman warns that "there is an urgent need to make risk mitigation as one of the essential components of urban governance and for creating policy, legal and institutional arrangements to ensure safer urban communities," and that "considering all the characteristics of urban areas including their complexity and multi-disciplinary nature, the disaster risk reduction strategy for urbanisation has to be proactive and holistic, as it has been emphasised by the Hyogo Framework for Action."
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