William Butler Yeats in “The Second Coming” writes; “Spin and spin in the widening gyreyouthe falcon cannot hear the falconer;things to fall into pieces; the center cannot hold;Mere anarchy is unleashed upon the world,The bloody tide is unleashed, and everywhere, the ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
Among other things, Yeats is said to have predicted the end of time for humanity, and a dismantling of civilization as it was known when Europe after the First World War left the feeling that the institutions on which a nation were in distress and the very fabric of society was fraying.
Today, not by war but by climate change; and with islands swallowed up by the oceans, unpredictable rainfall, to name but a few, there is an urgent realization that unless resolute action is taken, time may well be over for humanity and the world and its civilization as we know it is about to be undone. Things are falling apart and will continue until the center can no longer hold. We will really say that climate change has sown anarchy in the world! Are we going to sit down because “it’s like that?”
Uganda is reviewing and integrating the country’s disaster risk management policies and plans to reduce the impacts of climate change. For this reason, Uganda is in the process of formulating its National Adaptation Plans and National Legislation on Disaster Preparedness and Management. These efforts need to be strengthened with the support of voluntary actors on the national and global scene to make it understood that the country is not lacking in conviction.
Uganda is not without support. In September 2019, the United Nations launched the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) which brings together stakeholders from the climate, humanitarian and development communities with the aim of making one billion people safe from disasters by 2025. The REAP is based on the consensus that only by working together can the global capacity to act in anticipation of climate extremes and disasters be strengthened.
It remains to be seen how Uganda will use this information and the willingness of these support systems.
Acting before climate extremes and disasters, among others, means that Uganda should comprehensively integrate a number of innovative early warning systems tailored to the country’s risk atlas as measures to adapt to change. climate, using integrated communication systems to help communities prepare for climate-related risks. events. This includes lessons learned from past events to continuously improve proactive responses before disasters.
The appropriate response to an early warning is informed or determined by the hazard that is the subject of the warning. For the purposes of this article, I will address the response that requires temporary evacuation of communities in the hope that relevant authorities will consider my practical suggestion to ensure and safeguard the effectiveness of the early warning system.
Since these systems must include agreed response plans for government, communities and people to minimize the anticipated impacts of climate change, leaders in place should publish safe spaces for temporary resettlements of vulnerable or affected communities. specific. The government will have an effective defense if anyone tries to accuse it of failing in its responsibility to provide safe havens to those affected or threatened by climate change-related disasters.
It defeats the purpose of early warning if there is no safe space for evacuations, however timely early warning may be. The government should further prepare communities by conducting evacuation drills bearing in mind that early action before a hazard occurs is essential to minimize loss and damage.
Some people are stubborn and will refuse to move even when the danger is so obviously imminent; but beware that people won’t move just because they don’t have or don’t know where to go.
Traditional and indigenous forms of early warning will be integrated into early warning systems to make early warning systems more acceptable and effective, but this could all be futile if no safe place is listed to handle evacuation .
When the operationalization of a good law is sloppy, everything becomes sloppy.
The author, Ms. Agnes Ndaaba is a disaster law project manager/in-house legal adviser at the Uganda Red Cross Society.