Communication network in managing natural disasters in Zambia : lessons and challanges
Mpoha, Siame Steven
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This report is a product of an attachment to the Disaster management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the Office of the Vice President. The role of the DMMU is to coordinate disaster management in Zambia. This exercise was prompted by the absence of a clear communication network for effective coordination of disaster response. It was therefore necessary to look at the communication network in managing natural disasters. The methodology used to collect data was in-depth interviews. This involved 20 respondents. The interviews lasted for more than two hours on each person. Others took more than one day of contact. Information was also extracted from secondary sources. The attachee was also involved in performing administrative and operational activities of the DMMU. The findings are that, there is no formalised communication network. Organisations involved in disaster management tend to work independently of the DMMU. This has affected effective cooperation, integration and coordination of disaster management activities. It has been concluded that Zambia has not developed an effective communication network. An effective disaster management structure should be developed based on wide consultations and backed by appropriate communication policies and legal provisions.