Disaster management in Cameroon: The Lake Nyos disaster experience

This source preferred by Henry Bang

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Authors: Bang, H.N.

Journal: Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal

Volume: 21

Issue: 4

Pages: 489-506

ISSN: 0965-3562

DOI: 10.1108/09653561211256189

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review critically, how the Lake Nyos disaster (LND), which occurred in 1986, is being managed by examining the immediate post disaster management and long-term management. It reveals how the disaster management system in Cameroon influences the management style and process with regards to the technical and socio-economic management of LND. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative research methods for empirical and secondary data were adopted in the study, including interviews (with disaster managers and LND survivors) and reviews of policy documents and media reports. Triangulation of information sources in the analysis has been done to enhance credibility. Findings: While significant progress has been made in technical management of LND, the socio-economic management has been poor. Although this can be partly attributed to the weak financial situation of Cameroon, the major problems seem to be related to human systems. Practical implications: The disaster management has focused mainly on technical and structural mitigation measures with less consideration of non-structural measures. This has had dire consequences for the displaced disaster survivors. A major challenge still lies in tackling social vulnerability within the displaced disaster population. Originality/value: This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of contemporary challenges facing the management of LND. This paper is important because published information on socio-economic aspects of LND is very scarce. This paper is part of a larger research that was conducted for a PhD in the UK. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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