Dissertation Abstracts

Impact of Community Participation on Disaster Management: Study of Tehsil Balakot, District Mansehra, NWFP, Pakistan

Author: Kaleem, Muhammad , mkaleem82@yahoo.com
Department: Sociology
University: Peshawar, Pakistan
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Sarah Safdar
Year of completion: 2015
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Disaster , Community Partcipation , Disaster Resilience , Social Capital and Cohesion
Areas of Research: Disasters , Community Research , Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management


The present study was conducted under the title “Impact of Community Participation on Disaster Management: Study of Tehsil Balakot, District Mansehra, NWFP, Pakistan”. Tehsil Balakot, the worst stricken area by the unfair jolts of the October 08, 2005 earthquake was selected for study. The main objectives of the study were to know about the impact of the local communities’ participation, attitude of local community and utilization of indigenous resources for coping with the problems posed by the disaster. A diagrammatic model “Organic Community Model for Disaster Survival by Alan Kirshenbaum” was applied under the assumptions that there was no significant role of the components of the model in disaster management and then followed the basic criteria for testing the model, hypothesis were developed and were operationalized through variables and indicators. Subsequently, the data was collected from the purposively selected 1012 respondents through a pre-tested interview schedule from the overall worst affected villages of the entire union councils of tehsil Balakot. Eventually, the data was transferred to SPSS for statistical analysis and results. Simple percentages as well as Chi square and Gamma statistics were applied in order to show the association and relationship of variables with one another.
The respondents of the study belonged to the multiple segments of the local communities with respect to their level of education, localities, age groups, family compositions, level of incomes and occupations. The data showed that majority of the sampled households had faced economic as will as human losses in one or the other forms. Keeping in view the gravity of situation the local communities notably participated in removing the rubble, providing first aid facilities to the injured, shifting the seriously injured to the hospitals, entombing the dead bodies themselves with the help of neighbors, friends, relatives and concerned local communities, supplying FIs and NFIs to the needy people, retrofitting the minor damages of their houses by themselves or by ERRA in addition to their own finances and labors, reconstructing their houses and rehabilitating their livelihood sources by themselves, communal help, donations of the communities or with the help of different organizations. The data indicated that the local communities participated in the adjustment of vulnerable orphans and widows, provision of shelters to the affected families, restoration and openings of potable water channels, drainage and irrigation water supply channels as well as the openings of small routes to the villages. The study also indicated that due to strong social cohesion and social networks the local community involved the local volunteers and social capitals in the overall vulnerabilities reduction and execution of different activities. The local communities provided various types of psychological, emotional, moral, social and economic supports in the form of loan, or Zakat and Sadqat (Alms and Donations). Domestic agricultural instruments were used by the local communities for the removal of the debris, rehabilitation and reconstruction purposes in order to alleviate their dependency on the bureaucratic disaster management system. The local community highlighted their reliance and trust on the utilization of their existing traditional social capitals, networks and institutions. Statistically significant association and direct relation under the chi-square, P-value < 0.5 and Gamma statistics (r = + 1, < + 1) between the different variables was found. The entire statistical analysis and results reflected the significance and relationship of the affected community’s survivor’s participation with the locally available social capital, social network, social cohesion and social institutions in the vulnerabilities and crisis management.
The study on the basis of the research findings verified the validity of Alan Kirshenbaum’s “Organic Community Model for Disaster Survival”. Besides, the study tested some hypothesis under standard statistical procedures. Eventually, on the basis of the findings, the study recommended the utilization, strengthening and preservation of the existing social networks and social capitals for coping with the disasters in future. The bureaucratic disaster/ emergency management should be amalgamated with the traditional and indigenous management techniques for reaching to the effective and desirable results. Training of the local community in accordance with the traditional helping mechanism, in order to revive the true spirit of self help in a socially desirable and sustainable way. And as per the plan and promises, the government should ensure and expedite the establishment of New Balakot City.
Muhammad Kaleem