Addressing issues relevant to disaster risk reduction in the public sector was the focus of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction Colloquium hosted by the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance.

The colloquium is organised annually in collaboration with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. It is the brainchild of the School’s governance expert, Dr Fayth Ruffin and is held in conjunction with a global initiative which aims to celebrate ways in which people and communities around the world reduce exposure to disasters and raise awareness about the risks they face.

Under the theme: Reducing Economic Losses from Disasters has the Power to Transform Lives, the event was driven and facilitated by the School’s public governance honours students led by academic Dr Sybert Mutereko.

Presentations were critiqued by distinguished guests from the public sector who gave valuable insight from a practical perspective on how the research could be improved.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Provincial Disaster Management Centre Deputy Director Ms Thokozani Vilkazi spoke on knowledge of work in the field and understanding and distinguishing between naturally induced disasters and hazards.

UKZN Alumnus and KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Director Ms Nonhlanhla Zamisa shared her experiences when she was a student and the importance of academic papers contributing to literature in under researched fields.

The event was hailed as a success as it allowed students an opportunity to take charge of a forum designed for them and created an opportunity for them to engage, debate and discuss their research and ideas as well as explore areas of collaboration and build networks for the future.

The School’s Dean and Head Professor Stephen Mutula and academic Dr Bongani Qwabe were congratulated for their support.

Words: Fezile Sikhakhane

Photograph supplied