Palliyaguru, R. S., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2010) Evaluation of existing vulnerabilities and disaster risk reduction practices of infrastructure reconstruction projects. In: International research conference on sustainability in built environment, 18-19th June 2010, Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Unpublished)

Communities and built environment have been exposed to various threats since a long ago with diverse effects and resultant losses. Thus it is not only people, but also built-environment structures are vulnerable to disasters. In this context, disaster risk reduction (DRR) has become one of the important solutions to mitigate and to prevent disaster risks and for speedy recovery after disasters. The best way of doing this is through ?vulnerability reduction? and thus disaster risk reduction should be aimed at vulnerability reduction. However, there is a need to identify the most advantageous disaster risk reduction strategies which can of course result in vulnerability reduction. As a part of this main aim, this paper seeks to explore the presence of various vulnerabilities within infrastructure reconstruction projects and to evaluate the disaster risk reduction practices within these projects with particular emphasis on their importance and level of implementation. This study adopts the case study research strategy and this paper is entirely based on data collated from semi-structured interviews and questionnaires within one case study conducted within a water supply and sanitation reconstruction project in Sri Lanka. The results show that while water supply facility is found to be somewhat economically, technologically, politically, developmentally and physically vulnerable, it bears cultural and social vulnerabilities to a very little extent. Further, in terms of the communities benefited from the water project, the highest level of vulnerability was found within physical vulnerabilities. Further, the technological, political and social vulnerabilities are also respectively presence within the communities. Other than that cultural and economic vulnerabilities are found to be somewhat presence. In terms of the DRR practices within the case study project, the physical/technical strategies were identified as the most important group of DRR strategies while emergency preparedness strategies also very important. Although emergency preparedness strategies are considered very important, none of them are satisfactorily implemented to the extent they important to the project while most of the physical/technical strategies are adequately implemented.

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