How a proactive approach can help build resilience against natural disasters

According to the World Bank, the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events has escalated across the African continent. South Africa is not immune to this trend, having to contend with its own share of destruction caused by floods, drought and wildfires. And the events don’t have to be disastrous to be brutal. Even small, isolated weather events can cause widespread damage.

It’s time to face up to the fact that natural disasters are going to be a part of our lives for many years to come, says Databuild CEO Morag Evans.

“Carrying out crisis management in the wake of these events is simply not good enough. Instead, we need a proactive approach geared to mitigating the impacts of climate change, one which can meet the demands and challenges of the future environment and economy we will be living in.

“The role of construction in this regard is crucial. The industry is indispensable in protecting us from the elements, including the impact of natural disasters. And while it is true that these events afford many opportunities to construction companies in the form of rebuilding, doing so is becoming increasingly expensive worldwide. It is estimated that in 2020, disasters caused $210bn worth of damage around the world. This is about a third more than in 2019.

“Consequently, industry participants need to work together to improve the resilience of their constructions so that buildings – and their inhabitants – can survive the force of nature when it comes.”


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