Towards a total disaster risk management framework for implementation of disaster risk reduction programmes : the case of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.
Sibanda, Martha Nthambi.
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Man-kind for a long time continues to be exposed to many risks and disasters that cause destruction of property, loss of livelihood and lives. South Africa‘s commitment in Disaster Management (DM) gained momentum immediately after 1996, with development of the Disaster Management (DM) Green paper, and preceded by a series of policies and frameworks whose aim is to contribute to decent Disaster Risk Management(DRM) sustainable services to the citizens, especially the most vulnerable communities. The successful implementation of government policies in South Africa requires well established local government institutions who have been mandated by the constitution to contribute to enhanced service delivery. Thus, clearly formulated guiding frameworks within public administration and management principles must be adhered to consistently. In this regard, the study investigated disaster risk reduction programmes in Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM). A mixed methods approach was adopted in order to answer the main research question that is ‗‗to what extent can TDRMF be adapted and incorporated in implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programmes in NMBMM?‘‘. Quantitative data was collected using a closed-ended questionnaire while qualitative data was collected using an open-ended questionnaire, focus-group discussions, in-depth interviews and observation methods. It is submitted that the Total Disaster Risk Management Framework (TDRMF) can be implemented by the NMBMM to enhance DRR programmes in relation to risk reduction and service delivery. Considering its holistic nature, the framework component strategies are inter-related and complementary. By drawing from the TDRM, the study attempted to understand the enabling mechanisms in place, including: policy, structure, capacity building, and resources developed and institutionalised at the NMBMM to influence effective disaster risk reduction, considering the fact that both local authorities and communities face vast challenges in reducing risks and vulnerability of the residents. Data was collected from households and other DRM stakeholders, including the NMBMM DM staff, private sector, government-line departments and NGOs. One of the key findings was that the municipality faces enormous financial constraints that hinder the development and implementation of sustainable disaster risk reduction programmes. The research recommends greater political will and the development of a stakeholder communication framework that would bridge the existing communication gap among all stakeholders (a critical aspect of multi-level, multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary co-operation and collaboration mechanisms), as it relates to collaboration and leverage to manage financial resources. The study concludes that the TDRMF presents a ‗‗window of opportunity‘‘ for overall DRM implementation in NMBMM in particular, and could be replicated as due consideration for other South African local government municipalities. The study concluded that specifically, the NMBMM should be contextualised within the TDRMF to facilitate and enhance its commitment in designing and implementing disaster risk reduction programmes and initiatives in its quest to ensure that municipal service delivery is enhanced through providing a safer environment for local communities.