Early Warning

Kariba Dam collapse fears and disaster preparedness in Zimbabwe

HARARE, 9 April 2014 (IRIN Africa) - Could fears of the imminent collapse of the more than five-decade-old Kariba Dam on the Zambezi river between Zimbabwe and Zambia spur Zimbabwe into more effective disaster preparedness? full report

Drought begins to bite in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, 4 April 2014 (IRIN Asia) - Sri Lanka has had six months of drought and could face severe crop losses and electricity shortages if the coming monsoon is as weak as forecasts predict, experts say. full report

Analysis: How effective is Pakistan’s disaster authority?

ISLAMABAD, 3 April 2014 (IRIN Asia) - The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was set up shortly after the 2005 quake that killed at least 87,000 people in northern Pakistan to act as the “implementing, coordinating and monitoring body” for disaster management. full report

Ukraine clouds global food price forecasts

JOHANNESBURG, 20 March 2014 (IRIN Global) - The political crisis in Ukraine, the world’s third biggest exporter of maize, could affect global prices of the grain and global reserves in the 2014- 2015 season, say experts. The US Grain Council said in a recent statement that shipments from the Ukraine, which exports to North Africa, the Middle East and China, are “becoming increasingly difficult”. full report

West Africa scores high in disaster risk

DAKAR, 14 March 2014 (IRIN Africa) - Researchers at the Madrid-based humanitarian research non-profit DARA have developed a new methodology, the risk reduction index, that they say could help more countries assess and reduce the risk of natural hazards and disasters. But an assessment using the index, carried out in six West African countries, found pervasive risks and limited capacity to reduce vulnerability. full report

Aid workers adjust to increasing violence in Lebanon

BEIRUT, 3 March 2014 (IRIN Middle East) - A few weeks ago, the head of security for a charity in Lebanon got the kind of call you never want to get. “One of our staff has been kidnapped,” the voice on the other end said. “She was at a checkpoint an hour ago and no one has heard from her since.” full report

Swaziland's dry spell upends sunny outlook on food

MBABANE, 3 March 2014 (IRIN Africa) - A prolonged dry spell with scorching temperatures has undone an optimistic outlook for Swaziland’s harvest of maize, the staple. Instead, experts are now predicting another round of scarcity and hand-outs in the perennially food-insecure country. full report

Jordanian farmers face “driest season in decades”

KARAK, 26 February 2014 (IRIN Middle East) - On the surface all looks well: the sky above southern Jordan is deep blue and the sun is shining over fields of wheat and barley. Some families are out playing in the fields and celebrating the first glimpse of spring. full report

All weather is local - getting the forecasting right for farmers

ZVISHAVANE/MASVINGO/CHIVI, 25 February 2014 (IRIN Africa) - With the lean season reaching its peak, many villages in Zimbabwe have already exhausted their staple grain reserves. The most recent Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report projects that at least two million people, out of a population of 13 million, will be without sufficient food until the end of March. But had they had access to high-quality rain forecasts for their areas, communities could have better prepared for the period between harvests, experts say. full report

Indonesia’s lagging volcano preparedness

JAKARTA, 21 February 2014 (IRIN Asia) - As Indonesia deals with the aftermath of two volcanic eruptions, experts question whether the country is well-equipped to face the threats from dozens of volcanoes that dot the archipelago. full report

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