Cover Image
close this bookAn Overview of Disaster Management (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - United Nations Development Programme , 1992, 136 p.)
close this folderChapter 1. Introduction to disasters
close this folderCausal factors of disasters
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPoverty
View the documentPopulation growth
View the documentRapid urbanization
View the documentTransitions in cultural practices
View the documentEnvironmental degradation
View the documentLack of awareness and information
View the documentWar and civil strife

Environmental degradation

Many disasters are either caused or exacerbated by environmental degradation. Deforestation leads to rapid rain run off, which contributes to flooding. The destruction of mangrove swamps decreases a coast line’s ability to resist tropical winds and storm surges.

The creation of drought conditions - and the relative severity and length of time the drought lasts - is mainly a natural phenomena. Drought conditions may be exacerbated by: poor cropping patterns, overgrazing, the stripping of topsoil, poor conservation techniques, depletion of both the surface and subsurface water supply, and, to an extent, unchecked urbanization.

Figure 1.6 Deforestation for “development”