Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Yangon City

Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Yangon City

Zin Nwe Myint

According to a publication of United Nations, urbanization often increases the exposure of people's assets to hazards and new forms of risks due to rapid population growth, combined with inappropriate land-use plans, failure of observing regulations to building standards, inadequate living conditions of the urban poor, poor sanitary condition, etc. create daily risks on a small scale. Thus, urbanization sometimes increase the risks and make disaster management more complex (UNDP, 2010). Many scholars had also agreed this view of increased risks in urban areas. Hochrainer and Mechler (2011) pointed out that many evidences indicate that disaster risk is a key threat to dense urban areas in the recent past. However, urban areas also give opportunities for reducing risks if manage well. Thus, UNDP emphasizes that a national risk reduction must be strongly incorporated with risk management in urban areas. However, urban disaster risk reduction is relatively a new field which requires further knowledge and strong cooperation of both government and non-government institutions. Besides, the disaster risk management initially needs a holistic approach for overall management which must be combined with specific approach to different hazards (UNDP, 2010). Against this background, the main aim of this study is to examine the existing disaster risk management in Yangon City, it opportunities and weaknesses. The objectives are, to understand the types and extent of disaster in Yangon City, to assess the current urban risk reduction and emergency preparedness in the City, and to give suggestions for holistic and integrated planning for emergency preparedness in Yangon City. Initially, a rapid appraisal on emergency preparedness in Yangon City based on available sources will be made. Later it will follow by in-depth interviews with authorities concerns for through understanding in order to support a better urban risk management plan for Yangon City.

Zin Nwe Myint
Department of Geography
University of Yangon
Yangon, Myanmar