Evaluation for the potential for disaster risk reduction in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Alshadadi, Turki (2017) Evaluation for the potential for disaster risk reduction in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

Disasters, both natural and human-made can have severe impacts on communities and infrastructure. The approach to minimising the impact of such events is Disaster Risk Reduction. This research looks at weather related disasters in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and methods used to reduce risk. The research was undertaken using a mixed methods approach. Some 200 people, both male and female, were sampled using questionnaires in four different provinces of the kingdom. The purpose was to gain an understanding of their knowledge of hazards and preparedness. Interviews were held with a number of key stakeholders in disaster management. Focus groups were conducted with religious leaders in order to gain an understanding of the role of Islam in risk reduction.

The results showed that the majority of questionnaire respondents lacked knowledge and information about disasters in their places of residence. Further, they are not well prepared to face the risks of natural disasters and lacked knowledge of how to mitigate their risks. However, the majority of participants strongly believed they can minimize the risk of disasters and they were enthusiastic to participate in any efforts of disaster risk reduction in the kingdom.

The Saudi government is building a disaster management system. However, it needs a greater focus on raising community awareness and preparedness. The research finds that the mosques has the opportunity to play an important role of in raising community awareness and preparedness. The Holy Quran teaches that protecting the environment and all creatures is part of Islamic worship. An extreme version of the fatalistic view of natural disasters is not fully supported in this study, which argues that natural disasters might have many other interpretations, such as a test from God, a natural process and a result of humankind’s negative intervention in nature.

The role of the mosque, which has a special sacred place in the life of every Muslim, has been researched. The research shows that the mosque has a central role in the life of Muslims but this role seems to have declined recently. The strategic position of the mosque and its special status in the life of every Muslim make it a very important place for effective natural disaster risk reduction. This study suggested possible roles for the mosque to raise awareness and to help with preparedness. Some practical steps are suggested to integrate Islamic teachings into the policies and strategies of natural disaster risk reduction in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These steps are based on previous research about the role of religion in disaster risk reduction and the findings of this research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
L700 Human and Social Geography
V600 Theology and Religious studies
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 11:51
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 10:31
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36267

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