UN/ISDR Warns Against Building in Flood-Prone Areas

18 June 2010: After a week of massive flooding in Myanmar, France and China, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) has urged governments to take flood risk into account in urban planning, and citizens to avoid building in flood prone areas.  

A report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that floods accounted for half of all disasters between 1990 and 2007. According to UN/ISDR, of all natural hazards, floods have the greatest damage potential and affect the greatest number of people – especially the poor in developing countries. Margareta Wahlström, UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), underlined that many countries and cities are at risk from increasingly frequent and severe weather-related hazards. She urged governments to take measures to reduce the risk for vulnerable populations.

To strengthen cities' readiness against floods and other natural hazards, UN/ISDR has launched the "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready" campaign to raise awareness and urge mayors and local governments to invest more in disaster risk reduction. [UN Press Release]