Disaster preparedness and humanitarian response in flood and landslide-affected communities in Eastern Uganda

Shannon Doocy, Evan Russell, Yuri Gorokhovich, Thomas Kirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to characterize and investigate relationships between disaster preparedness, impacts, and humanitarian response among Eastern Uganda populations affected by the 2010 landslides and floods. Design/methodology/approach: A stratified cluster survey of the disaster-affected populations was conducted five months after the onset of the disasters. Probability proportional to size sampling was used to sample 800 households, including 400 affected by floods in Butaleja District and 400 affected by landslides in Bududa District. Findings: Mortality was significantly higher in the landslide-affected populations as compared to flood-affected populations (deaths reported: 4.5 vs 1.6 percent, p<0.01) whereas injuries were more common in the flood-affected areas (injuries reported: 3.1 vs 1.1 percent, p<0.01). Livelihoods impacts were widespread and reported in more than 95 percent of households. Respondents indicated that the community and government were unprepared to respond in both flood (90.5 and 77.8 percent, respectively) and landslide (95.3 and 74.9 percent) affected areas. Practical implications: The majority of households felt that both their communities and the government were unprepared to respond to disasters. Given the likelihood for recurrence of natural disasters in these communities, expansion of both community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP) programs and their evidence base should be prioritized. Originality/value: There is a paucity of evidence on community perceptions of disaster preparedness and on CBDP programs. The paper highlights these issues in the context of two disasters in Uganda and calls for expansion of the evidence based to inform risk reduction strategies in low-income settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-339
Number of pages14
JournalDisaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Disaster preparedness
  • Floods
  • Humanitarian assistance
  • Landslides
  • Uganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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