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Why are less economically developed countries and more economically developed countries affected differently by flooding, and why are there responses different?

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Introduction

Why are less economically developed countries and more economically developed countries affected differently by flooding, and why are there responses different? Flooding has been a worldwide problem for centuries but in recent years, primarily due to global warming, the effects are becoming more and more hazardous. As a result it becomes important to recognize the significance of flooding and the varied impact it has on people around the world. Flooding affects numerous groups of people every year regardless of their country's economic status. However the intensity of the effects of flooding and what is and can be done to prevent them in the short term as well as for the future (long term) is where the difference between less economically developed countries and more economically developed countries becomes evident. For example the Mississippi river is one of the largest in the world; it travels through nine states and collects a large amount of surface run off from a large portion of the North American continent. ...read more.

Middle

Millions of people became homeless as the flood plain was densely populated with poorly constructed houses. The estimated damage to the country's economy was more than US$140 million. It is clear that the effects and responses to both floods are a result of the two countries' economic status. North America is an extremely wealthy country and as a result had numerous resources not available to Bangladesh that lessened the effects of flooding. Firstly, due to the national and individual wealth, the United States was able to warn people at risk through various media allowing the population to make adequate preparations for the imminent event. Whereas in Bangladesh the first people to hear about the flood were probably already waist deep in water. Secondly, America has a secure government that was able to provide large sums of central funding to temporarily re-house people. In addition, the American flood victims were able to rely upon their insurance companies to compensate them for losses and rebuilding costs. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the Bangladeshi government recognizes that it doesn't have the money or skilled workers to maintain these structures even if they were built. Immediate solutions involved soft engineering such as afforestation; also they advised farmers on land management, which is cheaper and allowed the population to continue to grow crops on the flood plain. (Less severe floods actually benefit Bangladesh as they result in fertile soil and irrigation, both relied on heavily by the farmers). However afforestation and other soft-engineered structures can take a long time to work and therefore their effectiveness can be argued. To sum up, it is clear that developed countries have the wealth and resources, such as infrastructure, government assistance, preparation, prediction and insurance to deal with controlling flooding and dealing with the aftermath. They choose to live with the hazard. Less developed countries, due primarily to their unstable economy and rising debt, have little choice regarding flooding hence the risk of disaster is much greater due to a reduced ability to recover. Katie Taylor 10H November 19th, 02 ...read more.

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