Post-disaster recovery: a comparative case study in Ayeyarwady region, Myanmar and Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Publication Date : 2016-01-01
Author : Swe, K. L.Ando, K.
Countries : Myanmar
Disaster Management Theme :
Disaster Type : Tsunami
Document Type : Research Paper
Languange : en
Link :

Abstact :

The cyclone Nargis devastated the Ayeyarwady delta area of Myanmar on May 2, 2008. Although the government agencies, local and international NGOs and donors provide support, economy still remained depressed and livelihood security was far from stabilities. In 2013, about five years after the Nargis, the incidences of poverty, landlessness and out-migration were significantly high. Most vulnerable households were often lack of income sources, social and safety network systems. The cyclone disaster severely damaged the community's immune system and its ability to recover on its own, making it more vulnerable to the negative effects of subsequent events. The amount of aid was an important factor for shaping recovery, even though the resources provided were far below the estimated losses and damages. As a comparison of the impacts of a natural disaster, a brief study was conducted on the severe nuclear accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. It was triggered by a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami which hit the Japanese coast on March 11, 2011. The investigation commission's report concluded that it was a manmade disaster - that could and should have been foreseen and prevented. The lessons learned will help the world to prevent nuclear accidents elsewhere. It recommended that the priority should be on human safety, rather than the structural safety of nuclear reactors; and that earthquakes and tsunami are still unpredictable but unavoidable events. Impacts of the natural disaster of cyclone Nargis and poverty, as seen in Myanmar, damaged physically as well as psychologically to the local people and livelihoods. The wellbeing of these cyclone victims are largely neglected and the recovery is still far from reality. Similarly, after the tsunami disaster, as in Japan, the affected people are still living in the evacuation centers, suffering from the impacts of the nuclear leakage. Taking lessons from the failure of Fukushima power plant, we should prepare how we respond to these risks and uncertainties, when Myanmar applies the nuclear energy as an option of a power solution.