Karunasena, G. I., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2010) Waste management strategies during post disaster phase: A case of Sri Lanka. In: CIB 2010, 10-13th May 2010, University of Salford.. (Unpublished)

Natural or man made disasters cause serious negative impacts on life, property, livelihood and industries often resulting in permanent changes to societies and environments. In disasters, creation of waste due to damaged buildings and infrastructure is unavoidable. If these wastes are not properly managed, serious environmental and economic burdens will fall on general living conditions, reconstruction and as well as general waste collection processes. Therefore, management of disaster waste has emerged as a critical issue and poses a significant challenge to governing bodies in responding to a disaster. This is not unique to Sri Lanka which is prone to frequent natural disasters such as floods, landslides and droughts apart from the Asian Tsunami of 2004. This paper addresses post disaster waste management strategies adopted and issues and challenges encountered at both national and local levels in Sri Lanka during post - Indian Ocean Tsunami period. A comprehensive literature review and a field survey were conducted to gather information. Accordingly, most affected six districts were selected based on three types of disasters namely floods, landslide and the Tsunami. Seven national institutes responsible for managing disasters were selected for collection of data at national level. Semi-structured interviews were used as the main method of data collection at each stage and content analysis was used to analyze data that was collected. Local level findings revealed that strategies, issues and challenges vary according to the type of disaster, magnitude and location. Unavailability of a centralized body, poor implementation of rules and regulations; poor standards of local expertise and capacities, inadequate funds, lack of communication and coordination were identified as key issues at national level.

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