Sri Lanka to gain from business resilience and strong infrastructure in facing natural disasters

A key message relayed by Japan is that robust infrastructure and resilience among businesses will help Sri Lanka be better prepared to cope with disasters.

At a recent international conference held by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (Sri Lanka), Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Akira Sugiyama stated: “Partnerships add strength and effectiveness for disaster response and relief. Robust infrastructure and business resilience is vital for ensuring continuity of economic and social functions of the country.”

He added that partnerships also play a major role in saving lives and businesses during disasters.

Sri Lanka, being an island nation, is prone to all kinds of natural disasters – the country has witnessed an endless number of floods, cyclones, landslides, droughts and coastal erosion over the years, and is vulnerable to low frequency high impact events that result in extensive damage.

Most of the government’s initiatives in this regard are confined to relief and recovery rather than proactively preventing or minimising the occurrence of such events.

As part of its aid to Sri Lanka, Japan works closely with the island nation to mitigate the vulnerability of disasters.

Uplifting Sri Lanka’s disaster resilience is one of the chief aims of the partnership and Japan has, over the years, contributed towards the same.

The Doppler weather radar network is one such example – this system was set up by Japan in Sri Lanka to measure the wind speed in precipitating regions, thereby identifying severe weather.

Meanwhile, the Sendai framework – developed in Japan for disaster risk reduction and endorsed by the UN General Assembly – has also benefitted Sri Lanka.