Natural and man-made disasters have resulted in massive human and economic losses. The unpredictability of its frequency, severity and location of hydro-meteorological or climatic hazards are likely to cause even more damage in the future. Investment in disaster-resilient infrastructure can help minimise these losses.
It encompasses houses withstanding a disaster, to citizens having adequate and safe access to the basic amenities such as water, electricity, essentials, healthcare, waste management, transportation, and digital connectivity along with workplaces, farms, schools and hospitals.
Source: National Infrastructure Pipeline - Report of the Task Force Volume II, Department of Economic Affairs, 29 April 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a more comprehensive approach to disaster resilience. However, the recent pandemic has been a wake-up call for the stakeholders to realise the need for investment into a more permanent plan for disaster mitigation, management and resilient infrastructure.
A collaborative approach is critical to develop a disaster resilient infrastructure.
It is also critical to comprehend the dependencies in the systems, including social structures, infrastructural networks (transportation, housing and healthcare), essential services (food supply, waste management), lifelines (water, electricity and fuel), emergency services (police, fire), business impact analysis (BIA) and cross-sectoral supply chain. Another aspect is to trigger a behavioural change among citizens to make them more sensitive to such disasters while establishing support systems for the marginalised and the at-risk population.