While the dramatic events in Yugoslavia and Rwanda have inevitably made headline news during 1994 and 1995, southern Africa has had its share of huge population movements and disaster-related suffering. It is well-known that the appalling drought of 1991/92 left more than 20 million people at severe risk. It is less well-known that in March 1994, Cyclone Nadya left one million people homeless following winds of up to 150km/h which battered Mozambiques northern coast. Only three months later, violent storms and flooding caused a further 20,000 people to lose their homes in South Africas Eastern and Western Capes. This year, flash floods have occurred in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Tanzania. In 1995, an estimated total of 13 million people are again at risk from recurrent drought-related problems, following hard upon years of political turmoil and armed conflict which itself caused millions of displaced and vulnerable.
This legacy of natural and complex disasters gave rise to the recent decision by the South African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) to set up a regional Disaster Management Information Project (DMIP). The project aims to document, categorise and consolidate disaster related materials, drawing on experience and technical advice gained from other developing regions.
More details can be obtained from:
PO Box 5690
Tel: +263 4 737 301
Fax: +263 4 738 693