How disaster management can be improved with help of accountability and transparency?

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answered Feb 27, 2017 by prashant1984 (42,500 points)


  • On January 28 2017, two cargo ships collided off the Ennore coast in Kamarajar Port causing oil to spill into the sea.
  • Though the contents of the ship’s cargo- LPG, spirit oil and diesel remained intact, the engine oil leaked out of the damaged ship.
  • This Spill has caused pollution along the beach as well as threat to marine life.
  • Due to wave action and the southern current, the spill spread some 34 km in the ocean.
  • It has been already three weeks post the disaster which has exposed the lacuna in the State’s disaster recovery mechanism, lack of transparency and coordination. However, many volunteers helped to clean the beach of oil spilt
  • Accountability--Clear accountability and defined roles and responsibilities across different authorities will help in proper co-ordination among the hierarchical structures and put an end to the blame game.
  • - Practicing the principle of "Polluter should Pay" i.e. to punish the man-made causes of disasters as done in the case of alkananda dam for being one of the causes for Uttarakhand floods will act as a detterent for reckless actions.
    -Holding the authorizes accountable and answerable and define punishments for exhibiting lack of interest will force them to take swift actions and ensure preventive measures. eg: In the recent Oil spill issue on the Tamil Nadu coast there was a huge delay for the local authorities from initiating an action.
  • Transparency:
    -Public access to the information will help the citizen to get regular updates and prevents chaos , for instance in cases like floods , earthquakes relatives of people in affected areas will panic if no information is being provided.
    -Transparency in the work will indirectly ensure accountability and force proper action.
    -Transperancy helps in taking preventive measures.In case of recent oil spill in TN coast , authorities should have in kept people informed on the status of work and precautions to be taken such as beware of sea food for a while etc..
    Government has a crucial role to play in disaster management, However it is needed that authorizes move from just making a mere rhetoric to acting swiftly as multiple factors like environment , life , economy are at stake during such events.
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