Assignment Sample on HPDM070 Extreme Medicine Disaster Relief

Topic – DISASTER RESPONSE TO ASSAM FLOODS 2020: STRENGTHENING APPROACHES RELATED TO ACCOUNTABILITY AND GOVERNANCE WITH AID FROM THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY

Introduction

The role of disaster management teams becomes more prominent when it comes to addressing critical health-related crises or disasters. In these events, the accountability and governance of the response teams determine the success rate of the operations and also helps in reducing the damage and number of casualties. The following study is based on the Assam floods that occurred in 2020 and helps in understanding the importance of accountability and the improvements in governments that could have been made. Furthermore, the importance of aid provided by the global community would also be taken into consideration and the way its inclusion could further improve the accountability and governance of the disaster response teams.

Strengthening accountability with global support

International aid and support from the global community can be highly beneficial for disaster management teams in terms of response that are provided to natural disasters such as the Assam floods in 2020 (Surampudi and Yarrakula, 2020). International interventions and support can be highly beneficial for the local disaster response teams in terms of receiving resources and funds that can effectively improve the overall performance and capabilities of the disaster response teams. For instance, a collaborative effort provided by the international community can effectively help in generating a large sum of funds, which can help the disaster management teams operated by the government and local authorities.

For instance, after the occurrence of the Assam floods in 2020 several issues and concerns were noted in the areas that were affected among these the prevalence of diseases such as dengue malaria and Japanese encephalitis increased subsequently. All these diseases were occurring due to the stagnant water, which became mosquito-breeding sites (Chetry, 2020). The government and the local team that were responsible for handling the relief services started undertaking awareness campaigns that can help locals get rid of the stagnant water that had accumulated in several places. However, the number of people getting affected due to these diseases started increasing and the treatment of the patients was also hindered and affected due to the fear of the covid-19 pandemic that was also on A rise during that period of time (Wasson et al. 2020).

In this regard, the accountability of the authorities turned out to be an important area of concern as several hospitals did not know which issued to pay more attention to between covid-19 for the mosquito-borne diseases that were occurring after the floods. Hence, irresponsible behaviour from the authorities that were responsible for treating the patients was noticed quite frequently. For instance, hospitals and relief care centres restricted the admission of patients fearing they were suffering from covid-19.

After the Assam floods, the number of Covid-19 patients in the state increased to 200,000 and this was mostly due to the fact that the floods created havoc in the area and the disaster response team were unable to contain the damages. There were also locals who were not willing to relocate to relief camps for treatment and support and this greatly hindered the relief operations (Huff post, 2020).

Therefore, it can also be identified that the relief operations teams that were located in the area were not able to respond to all the issues that were talking and this increases their accountability in terms of responding to the crisis. Since the relief operations were being addressed to thousands of people who wear affected due to the floods there were several instances that might have not been reported to the authorities in terms of the lack of capabilities of the team’s responding to the crisis. This increase unethical practices and lack of expertise in terms of providing relief to the people affected in the area. A sum of ₹3.46 billion was announced by the government however the way these funds were sued was not disclosed to the public (The diplomat, 2020).

With the help of international and global support, these relief efforts would have been improved and the effectiveness with which people could have been served would have been more effective. Furthermore, support and intervention from global communities to this flood that occurred in Assam could have increased the transparency of the overall operations. Increasing the transparency of the operations of similar relief responses that are provided to such natural disasters increases the accountability of the teams that are working in the area (Bora and Basistha, 2020). Moreover, it also improves the overall effectiveness with which they serve the people as well as the awareness campaign that is held also increases. Not only that it has also been seen that due to the floods 70% of the people who are affected are suffering from poverty and loss of a job that was a result of the covid-19 pandemic and the flood had increased their difficulties (Citizens for Justice and Peace, 2020).

Moreover, the accountability of the response teams that were addressing the friends would have been increased by improving the communication between the teams and the authority is overseeing the issue. Therefore, regular reporting of the events, as well as the number of casualties and the amount of relief provided to the people, would have been an effective step to increase the accountability and transparency of the operations. Most of the unethical actions and lack of accountability occurs due to the absence of accurate reporting of the work done by these relief teams (Talukdar et al. 2020). Since the number of teams involved in providing relief to the people in Assam was more than one million the chances of misreporting and lack of communication between the teams was prevalent. Global support could have increased the indulgence of resources that would have not only benefited all the teams but would have increased the overall accountability and governance of the disaster response teams.

Governance of Disaster relief teams

Disaster can be termed as the problems, which occur suddenly by affecting the environment, human beings, economy as well. A state faces huge losses as it affects the whole community across the state itself. Assam is facing huge issues due to the rising sea level in which most of the places are drowned. As suggested by Shah (2020), 70 lakh of people are being affected by the disaster along with this 113 people have died. Increasing flood builds the probability of increased landslides automatically. Approximately, 1.28-lakh hectares of the land, which is related to agriculture and cropping, have been affected and around 116 animals of the Kaziranga died. Floods are something that is common in a state like Assam. As mentioned by Barah (2021), there are several reasons why there is a rising issue of disasters like floods in Assam. Due to climatic changes, urbanisations, embankments, construction strategies, which are very poor, politically related issues; these are some reasons, which help in increasing the disaster.

There are several other disasters related to the environment, human beings and children that have been resolved by The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) such as the massive floods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. As suggested by Bezboruah et al. (2021), measuring the steps for controlling the floods are needed as some ancient solutions for the better management of floods are planting vegetation to access the extra water for a useful source, constructions of the man-made channels for the floodwaters. As mentioned by Mohanty et al. (2020), disaster is something that does not discriminate and affects all the people who are surrounded by them. Taking an example of Europe, there are huge mechanical barriers, which protect the country from floods as they build a flood-blocking road.  Implementing flood risk management is essential in the areas, which are majorly the red areas for floods like Assam (Deka et al. 2021). Flood forecasting is needed, as it will be able to deliver information when there is a heavy risk of flood in certain areas along with it is very useful as it has a maximum probability to save the lives of humans as well as the animals. By implementing this, it will observe the hydrological as well as meteorological data and transmit them to the forecasting centres. As suggested by Sarma (2020), reduction in the runoff is the other most effective strategy as it reduces the inducing and enhances the information in the ground area along with this it helps in measuring the soil erosion and maintains the water capacity in the river as well. Providing capital from global organisations like, UNICEF and WHO will help the government of Assam to build flood peaks such as dams and detention basins. Proving necessary help them to tackle these kinds of disasters by saving some lives as well (Zaman and Hossain, 2021). Crises like floods, earthquakes, tornadoes or even pandemics like COVID-19 leaves damage, which is very devastating for every individual who has gone through these disasters.

Conclusion

The above study helps in understanding the importance of governance and accountability that needs to be present in relief response teams that address global prices such as Assam floods 2020. The study has helped in understanding the issues during the floods. The study has helped in understanding that global support from international communities as a response to the flood would have increased the transparency of the overall reparations helping in improving the accountability of the different teams involved in the relief process. Furthermore, the different ways through which global support could improve the governance of these teams have also been depicted.

Reference

Barah, P., 2021. Recasting governance in the times of pandemic: a case study of Assam. India Review, 20(2), pp.213-228.

Bezboruah, K., Sattler, M. and Bhatt, A., 2021. Flooded Cities: A Comparative Analysis of Flood Management Policies in Indian states. International Journal of Water Governance, 8.

Bora, D. and Basistha, D., 2020. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AGRICULTURAL INCOME AND OUTMIGRATION IN FLOOD AFFECTED AREAS OF ASSAM: A CASE STUDY IN DHEMAJI DISTRICT. Journal of Critical Reviews, 7(14), pp.3149-3156.

Chetry, B., 2020. Re-theorizing livelihoods: Impacts of floods and traditional adaptation practices in Majuli, Assam. Journal of North East India Studies, 10(2), pp.1-27.

Citizens for Justice and Peace, 2020. Assam Floods: Lost lives, livelihood, citizenship documents. [Online]. Available at: <https://cjp.org.in/assam-floods-lost-lives-livelihood-citizenship-documents/>. [Accessed on 18 August 2021]

Deka, S., Barua, D., Bahurupi, Y. and Kalita, D., 2021. Assessment of the Prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections and Associated Risk Factors among School-Aged Children in a Flood Affected Area of Northeast India. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Huff post, 2020. Assam Floods Has Had A Significant Impact On Humans And Its Wild Animals. [Online]. Available at: <https://www.huffpost.com/archive/in/entry/assam-floods-covid-19_in_5f23d367c5b68fbfc8818960>. [Accessed on 18 August 2021]

Mohanty, M.P., Mudgil, S. and Karmakar, S., 2020. Flood management in India: a focussed review on the current status and future challenges. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 49, p.101660.

Sarma, H.K.D., 2020. Role of Information and Communication Technology in Developing Northeast Region of India and Some Aspects of e-Governance. In Role of ICT in Higher Education (pp. 319-338). Apple Academic Press.

Shah, P. 2020. Assam Floods 2020. [Online]. Available at :https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/letsbereal/assam-floods-2020-23481/ [Accessed on 18 August 2021]

Surampudi, S. and Yarrakula, K., 2020. Mapping and assessing spatial extent of floods from multitemporal synthetic aperture radar images: a case study on Brahmaputra River in Assam State, India. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 27(2), pp.1521-1532.

Talukdar, U., Taye, N., Hazarika, J., Deka, N., Agarwal, P., Chand, P. and Jain, R., 2020. Flood Damage Management in Assam: A Case Study. Natural Resource Use Planning for Sustainable Agriculture, p.107.

The diplomat, 2020. Assam Devastated by Floods Again. [Online]. Available at: <https://thediplomat.com/2020/07/assam-devastated-by-floods-again/>. [Accessed on 18 August 2021]

Wasson, R., Saikia, A., Bansal, P. and Joon, C.C., 2020. Flood Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation and Technological Lock-In in Assam. Ecology, Economy and Society-the INSEE Journal, 3(2354-2020-1260), pp.083-104.

Zaman, M. and Hossain, M., 2021. The Charland Administration and Governance: Need for a Paradigm Shift. In Living on the Edge (pp. 403-413). Springer, Cham.

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