Access this link: Disaster Politics reading(2).pdf
This focuses on one element of how governments approach disasters and preparations. Another area is the influence that governments have during disasters and how they “support” their population during a crisis. Disaster relief can be a powerful political tool in order to maintain control over their population.
Look at some recent disasters or Humanitarian events, such as the Ebola outbreak or the Haiti earthquake of 2010. From your readings, attempt to cite an example of how political influence can obstruct effective disaster operations. Briefly comment on what impact NGO’s may have- good or bad- in politically unstable environments.
I have attached 4 different answers just paraphrase 2 good separate answers and just them in sprite files
Disaster is a natural phenomenon that we humans cannot control. Even governments of developed countries cannot prevent natural disasters. Disasters are the most dangerous calamity. Natural disasters that occur in the short term, leading to material damage and human injury or even death. In the event of natural disasters, governments play a huge role, and at these stages it is necessary to determine how the situation will be affected in the event of a natural disaster. A government through political influence may influence the effectiveness of disaster risk factors or may hamper the effective functioning of disasters.
In addition, the Haitian government was uncertain until the earthquake. We cannot say that the earthquake was the reason that the political struggle in Haiti will now be more than that, but one can say that it aggravates the situation even more. After the earthquake, the government did nothing. The lack of prior planning and the risk of an accident sent us to Haiti and were shocked. The government of Haiti is always occupied even before the earthquake in the first months of 2010.
Relief works can be distinguished into several categories: search and save; treatment and survival; transportation and rehabilitation; early recovery of victims; and long-term rehabilitation. As with any natural disaster, it may take days to help the victims. Lack of transport infrastructure, lack of access to all, can lead to a limitation of any step in the disaster recovery program. Although effective time management is important for saving lives. With regard to priorities, we must focus on help and assistance, meeting the urgent needs for food, clean water and water treatment, medical care, emergency care and the provision of services. Therefore, the Government of Haiti should cooperate with natural disasters NGOs for the development of support services.
Smith, A. & Flores, Q. A. (2010). Disaster Politics: Why Natural Disasters Rock Democracies Less
Politics in Haiti. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://haitiearthquake.web.unc.edu/politics-in-haiti/
Political considerations are a significant factor in the preparations for, response to and total recovery and mitigation of a disaster event. Politics therefore can influence disaster in terms of vulnerability before the disaster even and management during the exact time the event has hit (Versluys, 2016). When a local disaster strikes example a flood people expect that a federal or a government fund will help save the victims, however, the reality is that being saved from such a disaster is dependent upon where the disaster has occurred and weather it is pro-government or not (Versluys, 2016).
A perfect example is the case where hurricane disaster hit Puerto Rico. The political influence was seen when the government refused to release funds and aids that could help assist the victims of the hurricane. The distribution of such small disaster easily explains how politics influence such decisions. However, large disasters are very difficult for politicians and politics to ignore. The dilemma of Puerto Rico introduced us to politics and how is can influence the operations within a disaster. The favors granted at the local level including disaster managements and aids are politically influenced. San Juan Mayor, one of the outspoken political leaders had to personally come out and ask president Trump for quick response after he noticed the country put up a slow response towards the hurricane disaster.
Apart from the disaster funding during the disaster events, politics also affect disaster response is through policies that they set (Tucker, 2016). The Puerto Rico government creates policies that only allow journalist at the disaster cite when they are needed to. The policy limits the freedom that journalist would use to show the whole world what is going on and so that any of them would offer help if they had (Tucker, 2016). Such limitations affect the speed with which the victims of hurricanes would be helped in the case of Puerto Rico.
The victims of such a disaster, therefore, rely on non-governmental humanitarian organizations. Nongovernmental organizations have a positive impact in such politically unstable environments. They provided funding for instance the federal emergency agency which helped handle the Puerto Rico hurricane disaster (Tucker, 2016). The NGOs also provided for public awareness so that during the disaster they provide for an advocacy policies for the victims that are affected. It clearly shows that NGOs have a positive impact during disaster response duration.
Tucker, E. (2016). Working disasters: the politics of recognition and response. Routledge.
Versluys, H. (2016). European Union Humanitarian Aid: Lifesaver or Political Tool?. In Europe’s Global Role (pp. 107-132). Routledge.
I will base my case on a very fresh case happening in Africa, Kenya. It’s a humanitarian crisis of hunger which some top government officials are denying but the media has followed on the case and brought forward undisputable evidence that indeed people have died of hunger.
This is a classic example of political influence obstructing effective disaster operations In this case, we see that some top government officials are denying that people are dying of hunger. Why? The obvious answer is that this shows that the government has no policies to deal with hunger and therefore lacks foresight. Since hunger is not a new thing in such a country, she ought to have learned from past experiences and like the biblical Joseph store up food for use when rain fails and hunger strikes. A further study on Kenya has revealed that actually though it’s true that people have died of hunger, the hunger is only in some parts but in other parts of the country, there is food and so nobody ought to have died of hunger when there is food in other parts of the land. In fact, they say that in some places people are looking for customers to buy their maize, which is the staple food in the country. If this is the case, then to hear that some people are dying of hunger shows a government that lacks foresight. This could be the reason why top government officials are denying the hunger, because they are aware that the opposition will capitalize on it and prove a point that could haunt the government in next elections. If this was what they feared, then it has happened because the opposition has already hit.
In essence, this shows that some top government officers are aware that the disaster is exposing a bad side of them that they have no policy to deal with hunger. The only way for them to hide their weakness is to deny publicly and confuse the public. By so doing, they obstruct effective disaster operation because the AID agencies will avoid to go against the government. Also, both local and foreign donors will not bring in help because generally they rely on governments position. Even when some may know the truth that a disaster is real, they may hold their help lest they be seen to be opposed to the government, which is not good for them. There have been cases of NGOs being deregistered because of non-cooperation with government institutions.
In politically unstable environments, NGOs have had a good impact because they can reach people on the ground with AID. In fact, NGOs have worked to ensure sanity in politically unstable environments by pinpointing areas of intervention and financing activities. For example, human rights and healthcare organizations. In unstable environments, such NGOs have done great work in championing and protecting the rights of people. They come in to provide healthcare services and educate the common man on governance and his rights, so that when the unstable governments become oppressive, the common man can defend his rights by mass action. Other NGOs take on projects in farming and vocational training. Through such interventions by the NGOs, life becomes bearable. Another key factor is that since disaster hits even in politically unstable environments, when it happens its only NGOs who are available to offer the necessary interventions.
Particularly, NGOs like, Habitat for humanity international, World vision and others are experienced in their areas and so they have a swiftness that many governments cannot match. Their record in saving lives is almost unmatched by governments’. When disaster hits, in most cases they are there first even before government agencies.
There is a role of a government to make adequate preparations that would see the country make appropriate responses to emerging cases of disaster within the country. However, such efficiency primarily depends on how well the government is committed to ensuring the well-being of the citizens, as inferred by its level of goodwill. In the Haiti, 2010 earthquake, claims of corruption and inappropriate use of international funds left the country so isolated from relief that the number of deaths reached a staggering figure compared to that in Chile despite the latter having a unit magnitude higher than Haiti in its earthquake the same period (Smith and Flores). Consequently, the image a government portrays to the world has the potential to improve obstruct humanitarian assistance to the country in the event of a disaster, the consequences of which would be a significant effect on the impact of the disaster on the country in question.
Under such circumstances, it would be the responsibility of non-governmental organizations to ensure that the people therein receive as much care as they should depending on the resources available to the organizations. Notably, they may not be as effective as the government could be, but effective coordination could see the various NGOs save the lives of a large number of members of the public from the said disaster. The ultimate effect of the intervention under such circumstances depends on the faith on the organization by the international society. So, the organizations play a significant role in politically unstable environments as the international community tends to have more faith in such institutions than it does on the government, which implies that there would be greater relief funding to these groups than there would be directly available to the authorities within the community therein.
Smith, Alastair, and Alejandro Quiroz Flores. Why Disasters Rock Democracies Less. Disaster Politics.