The head of the United Nations agency dealing with disaster risk reduction today said risk management and disaster risk reduction play significant role in preventing a recurrence of deadly floods in Thailand.
In her meeting with officials in Thailand, Margareta Wahlstrom, the head of the secretariat of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) urged government support for the business continuity plans following the costliest disaster in the country’s history.
Ms. Wahlstrom also discussed with the Thai officials new proposals on risk management.
“In each of the last two years 15 per cent to 16 per cent of Thailand’s population has been affected by disasters, mainly floods.” -Ms. Wahlstrom
Ms. Wahlstrom also welcomed the details of the government’s plan to mitigate future flooding, including a re-forestation programme and improved procedures around the release of water from hydro-electric dams.
“What we have clearly seen now is that disaster risk is following economic development pathways in Thailand as it is in many other parts of the world.” – Ms. Wahlstrom
She stressed she appreciated her meetings with the government, private business people and the Chamber of Commerce that the sheer scale of the economic losses provides an opportunity for a major re-think about the role of risk management and disaster risk reduction in preventing a recurrence of this type of disaster.
The severe flash floods and landslides in Thailand have affected more than 340,000 people, completely destroyed 700 houses and damaged more than 1,000 roads and bridges.