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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcasters: Natural disasters

Natural disasters include floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other events not caused directly by humankind. A natural disaster can result in loss of life and property damage, and typically leaves some economic damage in its wake. The severity of damage depends in part on the affected population’s resilience, or ability to recover. Read more on the subject here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_disaster

The increase in frequency and severity of some natural disasters, including flooding and low-pressure wind systems (hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons and tornados) has been linked to global climate change. April 22 is Earth Day, and event organizers are highlighting “The Face of Climate Change” as this year’s theme. You can find more information on events around the world through this link: http://www.earthday.org/

The story on which this News brief was based can be found here: http://www.irinnews.org/Report/97805/Consecutive-catastrophes-hit-Madagascar-s-farmers

Farm Radio Weekly has covered natural disasters before. This story from issue #41 (October 2008) talks about the floods which affected farmers in Mozambique that year. Read it at: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/10/27/3-mozambique-preparing-for-natural-disasters-un-integrated-regional-information-networks/

The Notes to broadcasters from issue #216 (September 2012) offer ideas for radio stations which broadcast to regions where disasters are prevalent. The Notes suggest the kinds of roles stations can play to reduce the impact of future storms, floods and plagues on their listening communities: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2012/09/10/notes-to-broadcasters-on-natural-disasters/

Keeping listeners abreast of the weather is an important function of any radio station. A recent story from Cameroon can found here: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2013/02/11/cameroon-community-radio-helps-farmers-and-fishers-cope-with-climate-change-and-extreme-weather-alertnet/ along with Notes to broadcasters: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2013/02/11/notes-to-broadcasters-on-climate-and-weather-programs/

Natural disasters affect most of the African continent. Statistics on climate change and its effect on disasters in Africa can be found here: http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/africa/

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