Recent natural disasters, including the devastating flood in Libya and the earthquakes in Morocco and Turkey, have once again brought to the forefront the dire consequences of human negligence and inadequate building codes.
It is disheartening to see that we continue to sit idly with our fingers crossed, hoping catastrophes won’t strike, when we have the capacity to take preventive measures.
The real tragedy in Libya, Morocco and Turkey lies in the fact that these disasters were exacerbated by the lack of proper infrastructure and building regulations. The catastrophic damage inflicted by the breached dams in Libya and the crumbling buildings in Turkey and Morocco could have been mitigated with more attention to infrastructure resilience.
Turkey, in particular, experienced a destructive earthquake two decades ago, which led to public outcry about the state of buildings and homes. Shockingly, we find ourselves in the same situation today, with no significant progress made to reduce the impact of future earthquakes. This lack of action is nothing short of negligence.
We must also reflect on our own situation here in British Columbia, where many individuals live in fear of wildfires encroaching on their homes. Rather than relying solely on hope, we should be actively working to prevent and mitigate the potential devastation caused by wildfires through comprehensive wildfire management strategies.
Those include creating buffer zones between communities and forests, as well as thinning and removing fuel from forests to reduce the risk of wildfires spreading to residential areas.
It is high time we shift our focus from reactive responses to proactive disaster preparedness.
We owe it to ourselves, our communities, and future generations to take action now instead of just crossing our fingers hoping that disaster won’t strike.
Richard Knight, Kelowna