BUILD BACK BETTER: LESSONS FROM SRI LANKA’S RECOVERY FROM THE 2004 INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI

Sandeeka Mannakkara, Suzanne Wilkinson

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v7i3.52

Abstract

The concept “Building Back Better” (BBB) was formally introduced following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, which implies using a collaborative approach to improve the physical, social and economic conditions of a community during post-disaster reconstruction and recovery. This paper introduces eight BBB Principles which contribute towards achieving BBB. The post-tsunami recovery effort in Sri Lanka was examined using the BBB Principles to determine the extent to which BBB has been incorporated in immediate and long-term disaster management practices. Reports, literature, and data collected from a site visit made to Sri Lanka in 2010/2011 were analysed to establish the findings. Although BBB concepts were recognized, failure in execution resulted in a non-BBB recovery. Lessons learnt from shortcomings have been understood and incorporated into current disaster management practices. Good BBB practices currently in effect include: hazard-based land-use planning and risk-based structural regulations; increased awareness; participatory approaches; and stakeholder training. The absence of legislative support to implement BBB initiatives is the only drawback preventing so far. Lessons from Sri Lanka can benefit disaster management practices worldwide.


Keywords

Post-disaster reconstruction; recovery; build back better; sri lanka; indian ocean tsunami

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