Malalgoda, Chamindi, Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Pathirage, Chaminda (2010) Role of local governments in disaster risk reduction. In: COBRA 2010: The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. RICS, Paris, France. ISBN 978-1-84219-619-9

The occurrence of the natural disasters has increased significantly in recent past and this has resulted
in a high number of mortalities and economic and social losses worldwide. This necessitates the implementation of disaster risk reduction measures in order to achieve a disaster resilient environment. The risk reduction through improved resilience requires a multi-sectoral approach with the participation of various stake holders. As such, the local governments being the first responder and the
one responsible for community development, has a key role to play in achieving society’s resilience to disasters.
Therefore the purpose of this paper is to explore the nature and the potential role of the local government in implementing disaster risk reduction initiatives in development of the society’s resilience to natural disasters. The literature review method has been used to address this potential role of the local governments in
disaster risk reduction and the data and information has been gathered from research papers on electronic databases along with conference proceedings and reports published by various institutions. The review of literature reveals that the local government has a significant role to play in
implementing disaster risk reduction initiatives. However several incidents have been reported on inadequate contribution of local governments in disaster risk reduction activities. This could mainly be attributed to inadequate financial, manpower and other resources available with local governments and their failure to make timely decisions due to lack of authority. This highlights the need for empowering local governments with improved governance structure.

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