Resilience to Disaster

The communities of Macuelizo were heavily affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota in late 2020. This came as no surprise, given that the country of Honduras is one of the world’s most vulnerable to natural disasters, especially floods and hurricanes. But, because Church World Service and partners’ aim since 2008 has been to lower risks and increase resilience to such calamities, local people were in a better position when disaster hit this time around.

At ongoing meetings, leaders review the municipal risk management plan. This preparedness allowed a timely response to citizens’ health and environmental emergencies.

Ongoing work on reforestation in the watershed basin has been stabilizing soil structure and allowed for greater absorption of floodwaters that might previously have washed away soil and crops. After the storms, CASM provided funding for repairing drip irrigation and drinking water systems.

Food security and nutrition have been improving with crop diversification and environmentally-friendly agriculture designed to prevent dangerous losses from failures of monocrops. Cassava that farmers planted served as a go-to food source during these emergencies. Since it not only stabilizes the soil but can also stay in the ground for a long time, it was there when needed. Families have generated income through the sale of chickens and pigs, organic fertilizers, vegetables and fruits at the local and regional level and were not left without means during the crises. Community health and sanitation continue to be a priority, and the latrines, sinks, and cement floors people built kept them healthy after the storms.

During a recent survey of participants’ views of how their efforts are paying off, Elio said, “I am happy with the support of CASM for taking vulnerable families into account.”

Freddy’s comment was that “My family and I have managed to produce a lot of different types of food thanks to what we’ve learned and practiced.”

And Neptaly praised the support given to the most deprived families and communities in improving food security and living standards. “Thank you for joining our effort.”

Honduras Macuelizo Program
Led by Church World Service and Local Partner CASM

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