Disaster preparedness, management and recovery for records at the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture in Botswana
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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Disasters cause huge damage to property and peoples’ livelihood. Botswana is prone to both natural and man-made disasters. In the past, the country has experienced various disasters. In the past, the country has experienced various disasters. In 2001, Gaborone experienced floods in which private and public properties worth P5 million were damaged (NDMO, 2013:p.8). These disasters in some instances destroy peoples’ lives depending on the magnitude of the disasters. It is clear that disasters have negative impact on the economy and peoples’ lives. Though, Botswana experiences disasters that have impacted negatively on its growth, the country lacks specific legislation to support implementation of a disaster preparedness plan in the country. Further, a review of literature indicated that Botswana lacks specific plans for disasters that may lead to destruction of public records. This study therefore sought to assess disaster preparedness, management and recovery of records at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. The population of the study included respondents drawn from Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture-Department of Corporate Services and Botswana National Archives Records Services. The study was a quantitative and purposive sampling was used to select respondents for the study. Data for the study was collected through key informant interviews, survey, document review and the direct observation. The study revealed that Botswana lacks specific legislation on disasters and that the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture- Department of Corporate Services and Botswana National Archives and Records Services have developed a draft disaster preparedness plan for records which is yet to be approved and implemented. Botswana’s preparedness for records disasters is good though not advanced. The country has never experienced deadly disasters such as earthquakes and wars but is prone to disasters such as floods, fires and poor storage. The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Botswana National Archives and Records Services are the major stakeholders and custodians of heritage but are not committed to establishing a disaster preparedness plan which is long overdue. Botswana is not ready to deal with major disasters because of inadequacy of resources for safe keeping of records as most records are in paper form. There is also shortage of skilled personnel to deal with records disasters should they occur. The key recommendations are that Botswana National Archives and Records Services should complete the disaster preparedness plan and implement the plan and then cascade the disaster preparedness plan to its sister departments.