Disasters are not once and for all events

© Photo by Paul Jeffrey

Disasters lead to disasters.

This blog by Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference in Britain, is part of All We Can’s ‘Rethinking Disasters’ micro-blog series.

As we watched the cyclone forecast for the region, it was apparent that the biggest potential disaster for the Rohingya refugees is literally in the wind. When the next cyclone hits their piece of shore, and it is a ‘when’ rather than an ‘if’, then they are in danger of being swept away.

I realised, because it was right in front of my eyes, that disasters are not once and for all events. Disasters lead to disasters. Genocide, ethnic displacement and war lead not just to refugee crises but also to environmental crises. The deforestation of the land has led to risk of landslide and flooding. But maybe the biggest scandal is the inability to build houses with foundations. The assumption that these people are not going to stay simply increases their vulnerability.

So, I wonder, should there be such a thing as a ‘temporary dwelling’?

Revd Dr Barbara Glasson is currently President of the Methodist Conference in Britain. With an original training in agriculture and experience of working on the edge of conventional church she has a world view of life and faith that informs her ministry. She is the founder of The Bread Church in Liverpool and is currently Team Leader at Touchstone in Bradford, a centre for peace building and interfaith dialogue.

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