Katrina was one of the most catastrophic events in our country, resulting in the deaths of nearly 2,000 people and costing billions of dollars in damages. Despite being a well-developed nation that possessed virtually every technological advancement of that period, our nation was no match, for perhaps, one of the fieriest tropical cyclones on record.
Impending storms have continued to threaten the safety of countries in North America; wreaking havoc on the Gulf Coast and the southeastern islands of the Atlantic. Extensive flooding has sweep coastal regions, destroying homes and businesses in several cities, islands, and towns. Fortunately, cable networks inform us of impending disasters so that we may prepare and migrate to a place of safety. Once the catastrophe has transpired, emergency response organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide relief to those undergoing hardships from natural disaster in America. Furthermore, many American homes and businesses are insured, and therefore, damages can be fully compensated for within a relatively short period of time. Most importantly, all is not lost following these disastrous occurrences; as most of our basic daily needs are continuously meet. With food and supplies being grown and manufactured and imported and exported across the nation and the entire globe. Additionally, many of us can afford to evacuate a severely affected area and take refuge.
As these catastrophes continue to ravage other parts of the world, do we ever stop to consider our fellow man, or woman, living in a third world country? In the Sub-Saharan region of Africa, natural disasters contribute greatly to the hardships of the residents as turbulent weather patterns destroy homes and crops across the land. Many of these individuals are substantially less fortunate that their American counterparts, possessing few resources and receiving hardly any governmental relief. As a region relying primarily on agriculture for sustenance, common disasters such as flooding can often wipe out an area’s entire supply of food and means of profit. Individuals are sometimes left destitute and homeless, with virtually no means of evacuating.
Flooding is a constant impending threat during the “rainy season” which typically lasts from May until September in Burkina Faso. Most Burkinabe can expect mass destruction. However, they can only brace for these events the best they know how, with the limited amount of resources available to them.
Natural disasters can have even greater detrimental effects when a region lacks any form of support and relief. From this perspective, we truly begin to realize how vulnerable we are to the impending forces of nature. For example, a recent September flood killed 13 people and injured 19 in the country of Burkina Faso. During this period, Senegal, a country within this region, has received roughly a year’s worth of rain in one day. African farmlands there were devastated and damaged because of the changing weather patterns and rainfall. The great flood of 2020 has hurt an already suffering farm life, and hits women particularly hard. By rebuilding communities, supplying food and resources, restoring crops, and educating residents on how to prepare for future disasters, we can mitigate the impact on women and children of this region.