An Overview of the Participation of Community and Faith-Based Organisations (FBO) in Disaster Preparedness in Malaysia

Azrina Sobian

Abstract


Malaysia has experienced various types of disasters in the last 50 years. Besides natural disasters such as floods (monsoonal and flash floods), landslides, mudslides, earthquakes (especially in Sabah) and tsunami, Malaysia has also experienced man-made disasters such as fires and explosions, vehicle accidents, haze including transboundary haze and others. In almost all episodes of the disasters, the government has played a major role, starting from the formulation of the policy on disasters, disaster preparedness, rescue and relief efforts, and redevelopment of the affected areas. It is vital for the public to participate in each cycle of disaster management (pre-disaster, during disaster and post-disaster). The absence of support and understanding of local community towards disaster risk and preparedness could ruin disaster management risk reduction efforts. In many instances, the role of local communities in Malaysia’s disaster preparedness is somewhat invisible. Thus, the community should be empowered to deal and prepare for disasters to ensure the overall effectiveness of disaster management in Malaysia. In Malaysia’s context, the strength of the faith-based organisations (FBO) should also be utilised in disaster preparedness efforts. This literature review or secondary source-based article examines the current situation in disaster preparedness among Malaysian communities and discusses the challenges that lie ahead in shaping the culture of preparedness in the communities. In conclusion, Malaysia community disaster preparedness needs to be improved. The communities (including FBO), directly or indirectly affected by disasters, should also be empowered to prepare for disaster.


Keywords


Public participation; disaster relief; faith-based organisation; local knowledge; community support.

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