Indicators to measure risk of disaster associated with drought

Implications for the health sector

Aderita Sena, Kristie Ebi, Carlos Freitas, Carlos CORVALAN, Christovam Barcellos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction
Brazil has a large semiarid region, which covers part of 9 states, over 20% of the 5565 municipalities in the country and at 22.5 million persons, 12% of the country’s population. This region experiences recurrent and extended droughts and is characterized by low economic development, scarcity of natural resources including water, and difficult agricultural and livestock production. Local governments and communities need easily obtainable tools to aid their decision making process in managing risks associated with drought.
Methods
To inform decision-making at the level of municipalities, we investigated factors contributing to the health risks of drought. We used education and poverty indicators to measure vulnerability, number of drought damage evaluations and historical drought occurrences as indicators of hazard, and access to water as an indicator of exposure, to derive a drought disaster risk index.
Results
Indicators such as access to piped water, illiteracy and poverty show marked differences in most states and, in nearly all states, the living conditions of communities in the semiarid region are worse than in the rest of each state. There are municipalities at high drought disaster risk in every state and there are a larger number of municipalities at higher risks from the center to the north of the semiarid region.
Conclusions
Understanding local hazards, exposures and vulnerabilities provides the means to understand local communities’ risks and develop interventions to reduce them. In addition, communities in these regions need to be empowered to add their traditional knowledge to scientific tools, and to identify the actions most relevant to their needs and realities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS One
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2017

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Drought
Droughts
disasters
Disasters
drought
Health
Poverty
poverty
Water
decision making
Decision Making
Hazards
Decision making
literacy
Local Government
indigenous knowledge
Economic Development
local government
water
Health risks

Cite this

Sena, Aderita ; Ebi, Kristie ; Freitas, Carlos ; CORVALAN, Carlos ; Barcellos, Christovam. / Indicators to measure risk of disaster associated with drought : Implications for the health sector. In: PLoS One. 2017 ; Vol. 12, No. 7. pp. 1-16.
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Indicators to measure risk of disaster associated with drought : Implications for the health sector. / Sena, Aderita; Ebi, Kristie; Freitas, Carlos; CORVALAN, Carlos; Barcellos, Christovam.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 12, No. 7, 25.07.2017, p. 1-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T2 - Implications for the health sector

AU - Sena, Aderita

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AU - Freitas, Carlos

AU - CORVALAN, Carlos

AU - Barcellos, Christovam

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N2 - IntroductionBrazil has a large semiarid region, which covers part of 9 states, over 20% of the 5565 municipalities in the country and at 22.5 million persons, 12% of the country’s population. This region experiences recurrent and extended droughts and is characterized by low economic development, scarcity of natural resources including water, and difficult agricultural and livestock production. Local governments and communities need easily obtainable tools to aid their decision making process in managing risks associated with drought.MethodsTo inform decision-making at the level of municipalities, we investigated factors contributing to the health risks of drought. We used education and poverty indicators to measure vulnerability, number of drought damage evaluations and historical drought occurrences as indicators of hazard, and access to water as an indicator of exposure, to derive a drought disaster risk index.ResultsIndicators such as access to piped water, illiteracy and poverty show marked differences in most states and, in nearly all states, the living conditions of communities in the semiarid region are worse than in the rest of each state. There are municipalities at high drought disaster risk in every state and there are a larger number of municipalities at higher risks from the center to the north of the semiarid region.ConclusionsUnderstanding local hazards, exposures and vulnerabilities provides the means to understand local communities’ risks and develop interventions to reduce them. In addition, communities in these regions need to be empowered to add their traditional knowledge to scientific tools, and to identify the actions most relevant to their needs and realities

AB - IntroductionBrazil has a large semiarid region, which covers part of 9 states, over 20% of the 5565 municipalities in the country and at 22.5 million persons, 12% of the country’s population. This region experiences recurrent and extended droughts and is characterized by low economic development, scarcity of natural resources including water, and difficult agricultural and livestock production. Local governments and communities need easily obtainable tools to aid their decision making process in managing risks associated with drought.MethodsTo inform decision-making at the level of municipalities, we investigated factors contributing to the health risks of drought. We used education and poverty indicators to measure vulnerability, number of drought damage evaluations and historical drought occurrences as indicators of hazard, and access to water as an indicator of exposure, to derive a drought disaster risk index.ResultsIndicators such as access to piped water, illiteracy and poverty show marked differences in most states and, in nearly all states, the living conditions of communities in the semiarid region are worse than in the rest of each state. There are municipalities at high drought disaster risk in every state and there are a larger number of municipalities at higher risks from the center to the north of the semiarid region.ConclusionsUnderstanding local hazards, exposures and vulnerabilities provides the means to understand local communities’ risks and develop interventions to reduce them. In addition, communities in these regions need to be empowered to add their traditional knowledge to scientific tools, and to identify the actions most relevant to their needs and realities

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