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In most countries across the world, the central government retains authority over the disaster management programme. These programme mostly focus on the developing response capabilities rather than proactive mitigation. Since most of the decision making is left to the centre, local government action for decision making on disaster management is given very low priority. Due to the various competing priorities and limited resources, the local government is seldom in a position to offer support to the disaster management programme. The weakness of local institutions deters any pro-active decision making process relating to mitigation and preparedness. However, disasters do affect local communities and when it does, the local government is immediately confronted the responsibility of providing relief to victims but lack resources and adequate authority. Secondly, there is always a mitigation fund crunch as they are mostly controlled from the centre.

Modern disaster management recognizes the importance of a strong well structured local disaster management capacity, and a need for a decentralized authority to achieve effective response and mitigation. The lack of authority in disaster management can further increase vulnerability. Therefore, along with central control, decentralization for programme and resources to local authorities ensure a more coherent and efficient approach as disaster management program can be developed where local issues are considered. Furthermore, disaster issues in a given area is more likely to be addressed by the local authority than the central government as they are in better position to understand the needs of the people. It is increasingly important to reach out to the local government to help them to build capacity, acquire knowledge and provide them with decision making capacity in order to reduce loss and build a strong and resilient urban sector.

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