By: Maggie .M. Mwape
Vulnerability represents the interface between exposure to the physical threats, human well-being an the capacity of people and communities to cope with those threats. Threats may arise from a combination of social and physical processes. Human vulnerability thus integrates many environmental concerns. Since everyone is vulnerable to environmental threats, in some way, the issue cuts across rich and poor, urban and rural, North and South, and may undermine the entire sustainable development process in developing countries.
Reducing vulnerability requires identifying points of intervention in the causal chain between the emergence of a hazard and the human consequences. Many natural phenomena pose threats, including extreme events such as floods, drought, fire, storms, tsunami, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and insect swarms. Human activities have added to the list, with threats from explosions, chemical and radioactive contamination, and other technological matters.