ISBN 9780798304948
Pages 288
Dimensions 244 x 170 mm
Published 2016
Publisher Africa Institute of South Africa, South Africa
Format Paperback

Natural and Human-Induced Hazards and Disasters in Africa

edited by Genene Mulugeta, Thokozani Simelane

Natural and human-induced environmental hazards are becoming increasingly prominent. The frequency of recorded natural disasters rose markedly during the last century, from about 100 per in the years up to 1940 to nearly 2800 during the 1990s. Africa is the only continent whose share of reported disasters has increased over the past decade. Several factors contribute to Africa’s high vulnerability to disasters. These include the high rate of population growth, food insecurity, high levels of poverty, inappropriate use of natural resources, and failures of policy and institutional frameworks. Despite the huge negative impact of natural and human-induced hazards on Africa’s development, little is done to prevent them. Disaster prevention contributes to lasting improvement in safety and sustainable livelihoods and is essential as part of integrated disaster management strategies. The provision of effective scientific input to policy formulation on various issues related to hazards and disasters is an ambitious undertaking. It requires the collaborative effort of the African scientific community to develop comprehensive long-term strategies and human capacity-building initiatives that will enable science to benefit society. This will further require:

a) Building strong research and training institutions in Africa at national and regional levels;

b) Facilitating the exchange of scientific information and sharing of ideas across borders;

c) Strengthening the link between scientific research and policy making;

d) Promoting outreach activities to build resilience to disaster risk; and

e) Tapping the knowledge base of rural and urban communities.

In this volume, the ICSU ROA has brought together selected African scientific researchers to share their views on policy direction for facing challenges linked to natural and human-induced hazards. The book is intended for policy advisers, environmental scientists, government officials and members of the general public with a special interest in environmental issues.

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About the Editors

Genene Mulugeta

Genene Mulugeta is a Research Associate and Coordinator of the Sustainable Africa University Network, at the Baltic University Programme, Centre for Sustainable Development, Uppsala University, Sweden. He serves as the chairperson of the International Council for Science Regional Office for Hazards and Disasters Consortium. He was a lecturer and Associate Professor of Geology at Uppsala University for the period 1993 to 2003.

Thokozani Simelane

Thokozani Simelane serves as a leader for Science and Technology at the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) within the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). He previously served as an interim Director of Research at AISA. He has worked as a Departmental Manager for Environmental Management at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). At SABS he was responsible for ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 90001 system certification. He has published in a number of international scientific journals and serves as a member of Research Ethics Committee of Human Sciences Research Council. He also serves as a member of the Department of Public Enterprise Africa Steering Committee as well as a reviewer of National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF). 

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