Urban critical infrastructure interdependencies in emergency management: findings from Abeokuta, Nigeria
Baloye, David O.
Palamuleni, Lobina Gertrude
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to map the cascade effects of emergencies on critical infrastructure in a fast-growing city of a developing country. The paper specifically seeks to refocus the attention of decision makers and emergency managers towards a more effective way of reducing risk and costs associated with contingencies. Design/methodology/approach - The study was based on a 2D representation of the three initiating events of fire, flood and automobile crashes. Detailed analysis was undertaken of the effects on the critical infrastructure, based on the probability of occurrence, frequency, spatial extent and degree of damage for the emergencies studied. Subsequently, a cascade matrix was generated to analyse the level of interaction or interdependencies between the participating critical infrastructures in the study area. A model of the cascade effects under a typical emergency was also generated using a software model of network trace functions. Findings - The results show that while different levels of probability of occurrence, frequency and extent of damage was observed on the evaluated critical infrastructure under different emergency events, damage to the electricity distribution components of the critical infrastructure recorded the highest cascade effect for all emergency events. Originality/value - This paper underlines the need to pay greater attention to providing protection to critical infrastructure in the rapidly growing cities, especially in developing countries. Findings from this study in Abeokuta, Nigeria, underscore the needs to expand the prevailing critical infrastructure protection beyond the current power and oil sectors in the national development plan. They also highlight the urgency for greater research attention to critical infrastructure inventories. More importantly, the results stress the need for concerted efforts towards proactive emergency management procedures, rather than maintaining the established "fire brigade, window dressing" approach to emergency management, at all levels of administration.