A Situational Analysis of Priority Disaster Hazards in Uganda: Findings from a Hazard and Vulnerability Analysis
Background: Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have not conducted a disaster risk analysis. Hazards and vulnerability analyses provide vital information that can be used for development of risk reduction and disaster response plans. The purpose of this study was to rank disaster hazards for Uganda, as a basis for identifying the priority hazards to guide disaster management planning.
Methods: The study as conducted in Uganda, as part of a multi-country assessment. A hazard, vulnerability and capacity analysis was conducted in a focus group discussion of 7 experts representing key stakeholder agencies in disaster management in Uganda. A simple ranking method was used to rank the probability of occurance of 11 top hazards, their potential impact and the level vulnerability of people and infrastructure.
Results: In-terms of likelihood of occurance and potential impact, the top ranked disaster hazards in Uganda are: 1) Epidemics of infectious diseases, 2) Drought/famine, 3) Conflict and environmental degradation in that order. In terms of vulnerability, the top priority hazards to which people and infrastructure were vulnerable were: 1) Conflicts, 2) Epidemics, 3) Drought/famine and, 4) Environmental degradation in that order. Poverty, gender, lack of information, and lack of resilience measures were some of the factors promoting vulnerability to disasters.
Conclusion: As Uganda develops a disaster risk reduction and response plan, it ought to prioritize epidemics of infectious diseases, drought/famine, conflicts and environmental degradation as the priority disaster hazards.
Keywords: disaster, risk, hazard, vulnerability