Disaster risk reduction efforts in the Greater Horn of Africa
International Journal of Disaster Risk Science
2095-0055 (Print) | 2192-6395 (Online)
Number of pages
International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, March 2015, volume 6, issue 1, pp. 49-61, doi:10.1007/s13753-015-0041-x
This article assesses the current state of disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA), and focuses on interventions and policies to mitigate hydrometeorological risks. The research analyzes, as main case study, the program “Regional Climate Prediction and Risk Reduction in the Greater Horn of Africa” funded by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID OFDA) in the early 2000 that targeted risk preparedness.
The research method combines a desk review of relevant documents and research papers with surveys and interviews directed to key proponents of DRR across the GHA. Results highlight current strengths and weaknesses in the way DRR is implemented in the GHA.
Significant improvements in the climate-forecasting capabilities in the GHA since the 2000s are acknowledged, but the practice of DRR remains technology driven and impacts on the ground are limited. The key findings highlight the significant communication gaps that exist between the producers of climate information and their end users, the communities at risk. The article urges the establishment of bridges that connect climate experts, policymakers, and representatives of the local communities, and for the implementation of a feedback loop from forecast users to their producers, in order to strengthen risk resilience across the GHA.