71% of Davao folk unaware if their place is disaster-prone

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 May) – At least seven in 10 Davaoenos are not aware if their area is prone to disasters, according to a survey by the Ateneo de Davao University.

The results of the survey administered by the school’s Social Research, Training and Development Office were released last week by the University Research Council.

The city-wide survey, conducted from April 9 to 16 on 632 adult respondents, found that despite their experiences with natural disasters, 71% of Davaoenos don’t know if they are living in a disaster risk area.

It said 69% were not worried about environmental catastrophes with 77% having experienced calamities.

Flooding topped the list of disasters that residents were commonly worried about, followed by earthquakes and storms. Landslides and mudslides were barely considered as concerns, while cyclones and tsunamis were last on the list.

The survey noted that 71% had knowledge and awareness of storms due to the attention given by media especially during typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.

As for household preparations for emergencies, most respondents mentioned flashlights and candles, followed by food and water, and listening to news updates on the radio.

Only 45% are aware of disaster early warning system while 52% claimed they are aware of disaster response system, 76% are unaware of the emergency evacuation drill, and about a quarter actually attended disaster preparedness training, said the survey.

Nine in 10 respondents strongly agreed that when it comes to climate change that there should be cooperation within local initiatives.

Meanwhile, 82% of the respondents coming from the city’s three districts and 12 sub-districts considered themselves on the poverty line with 26% claiming that their income was not enough for actual daily expenditure.

When asked to project their financial situation in the next three months, 29% of the respondents said they will earn less than what is spent while 49% said they will earn just about the same amount.

However, 20% of the respondents were optimistic about earning and saving.

Family savings topped the list of the main sources of income (95%) for the participating households, reliance on loans (74%), assistance from private persons and institutions (44%) and reliance on government support (9%).

According to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan from the City Planning and Development Office, among the city’s housing issues were uncontrolled squatting along danger areas such as waterways, open canals, road right of way, river banks and private properties, severe and frequent flooding in residential areas. (MindaNews)