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Additional info for Challenge in Disaster Reduction for the Water and Sanitation Sector: Improving Quality of Life by Reducing Vulnerabilities

Example text

In addition, risk management projects are a means of entry for work with the community and for strengthening local capacities. Economic and financial sustainability should not be affected by a natural disaster. Risk management should anticipate that in case vulnerability is not eliminated, the system must rely on a mechanism (such as payment for services in an urban area, the supply of replacement parts, and enough technical and economic capacity in the peri-urban and rural area) that will make it possible to have enough resources for recovery of the system.

In other cases people returned to their places of origin and rebuilt their homes. In both scenarios initial governmental plans for restoring systems included major expenditures for improvement of the water and sanitation systems, particularly in the most densely populated areas. This unprecedented investment creates the opportunity to carry out appropriate and sustainable improvements that reflect the best practices and integrate engineering and public health expertise. However, there is also the chance that these funds will be diverted to other projects based on other political or commercial priorities.

In fact, providers have been exempted from this responsibility. In light of this, the providers do not have incentives to reduce risk or to carry out preparedness measures to ensure that basic levels of service will be available during emergencies. It is easier and more economical to incorporate protective measures against the impact of disasters during the installation of new systems than to install them in existing systems. Service is not interrupted during the execution of new works, and there are technical and logistical limitations to accessing underground components or in areas that are difficult to reach.

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