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Communities’ Local Knowledge of Flood Disaster Management in Pakistan

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Disaster literature shows the trends and the events of natural disasters increasing across the world. These phenomena have linked with climate change, as a new driver of disaster risk, which increases both hazards and vulnerabilities. Pakistan has witnessed several major flood disasters affecting 40 million people since early 1970, due to its natural topography and human activities. Studies showed that the impacts of these natural disasters increase if the right information and knowledge development of local communities are not taken into account, particularly in vulnerable regions. This paper aims to find the level of community disaster knowledge in terms of disaster experience, risk perception, and readiness to determine the level of perception on disaster management in the flood-prone regions of Pakistani districts. The study assumes that the disaster preparedness and risk perceptions are interlinked because people with a high-risk perception vis-à-vis the right knowledge make adjustments to reduce risks. A semi-structure questionnaire was administered to 385 households living near flood-prone area along the River Indus in selected Pakistani districts. A multiple linear regression analysis was carried out to explore the contribution of all predictors and their influence to the prediction of disaster management. The finding revealed that the level of disaster experience and risk perception significantly predicted disaster management, however, the overall readiness of communities to manage flooding was not significant. The paper concludes that both disaster experience and risks perception knowledge have a strong relationship to disaster management. Overall readiness, however, is still not encouraging and will need to be strengthened to improve local knowledge.
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Keywords: Flood Disaster; Local Knowledge; Readiness; Risk Perception; Vulnerability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre of Innovative Planning and Development, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia 2: Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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