Main Organiser

Julius Centre University of Malaya

Co-organiser

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malay

Supported by

University of Malaya

SOCIOECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF A NATURAL DISASTER: POLICY IMPLICATION FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Author

Su TT 1 , Saimy I 1 , BulgibaAM 2

Institution

1 Centre for Population Health (CePH), Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya
2 Julius Centre University of Malaya (JCUM), Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya

Abstract

Objective: There is very little scientific evidence on long term socioeconomic consequences of affected communities and how the communities cope with the situation in order to sustain the households’ economic condition in post-disaster. The objective of the study is to assess the socioeconomic status of the households affected by the tsunami of 2004 & determine the factors associated to the recovery of household economic status.

Methods: Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used. The study was conducted in two different areas in Malaysia - Sungai Petani (Kuala Muda) and Penang (Tanjung Bunga and Palau Betong) in 2010-2011. In-depth interviews were conducted with 33 participants. The questionnaire for household survey was developed based on in-depth interviews. A total of 195 tsunami-affected households were included in the survey. STATA version 11 was used for the data analysis. Multivariate logistic regression was done to determine the factors related to the recovery of households’ economic status.

Results: We asked the study participants to compare the status before the tsunami and current households’ economic status. Among 195 households, 37% were in a better condition, 40% were unchanged and 22% had not recovered. It took 2.2 years to get back to pre-disaster economic status. Factors leading to successful household economic recovery were “household resided in Kuala Muda”, “belong to highest income quartile” “having male household head” and “age of household head”. In contrast, “extended family type” and “unemployed household head” reduced the odds or recovery. Households which lost their fishing boats and had casualties during the tsunami had less chance to recover their previous status.

Conclusion: The findings of our study would be useful for policy consideration and planning of post disaster management in order to enhance the recovery of household economic status in the short period.