Sri Lanka private sector needs to be more mindful of disaster risk

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s private sector needs to be aware of risks posed by disasters as it affects investment decisions, a senior officer of the government Disaster Management Centre said.

The emphasis has changed from a previous focus on disaster management to disaster risk reduction now, said Anoja Seneviratne, the DMC’s Director of Mitigation, Research and Development.

Increasingly, government and private sector organisations were looking for ways to identify risks before disasters occur, she told the ‘Sendai Spring – Turning Risk to Resilience’ disaster risk reduction forum.

“Different risk assessments are needed for investments and for study purposes,” she said.

“Disaster management is a cross-cutting subject – it is not mine or yours; it is ours.”

Seneviratne said that the private sector, which like the government uses a lot of resources, needs a proper framework to reduce risks.

“We need national and local level risk assessment,” she told the forum organised by Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management and Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies in collaboration with Asian Disaster Reduction and response Network.

“Once risk is identified, and with legal and institutional frameworks, you need to invest, incorporating aspects of disaster risk reduction. Then only it will be sustainable.”

Risk transferring mechanisms were needed in which the insurance industry can play a big role, she said.

“We can’t stop disasters; we have to live with the residual risk but we need to prepare proper responses. Then only we can reduce risk.”





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