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[Haiti] Goal: Strengthen community resilience for natural disasters

2018.5.1

Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) has begun a new project in Saint Jean du Sud commune in western Haiti. This project aims to increase community capacity for disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction.

Haiti is often challenged with natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, and during the rainy season, from June to October, floods and landslides occur around the country. Such disasters put a harsh burden on communities living in already difficult conditions as the poorest country in the western hemisphere, especially those in rural areas like Saint Jean du Sud.

 

起工式に集まる住民SJdS市長とPWJスタッフ (1)

After providing emergency relief activities during the Hurricane Matthew response in 2017, PWJ and the Saint Jean du Sud community members agreed that the community is better off when they are better prepared for such natural disasters, and the community was eager to learn how to become more resilient to natural disaster.

Community Participation is the key to this project. The PWJ engineering team will be imparting theories and actual practices of important techniques of housing construction directly to the community members and will also build community centers together with the community, so that all the learning is local. These community centers will be used as a gathering place, livelihood processing place, or after school place for children, so that if disaster strikes, these places will stand fast as community centers.

建設作業参加者PWJエンジニア・チーム

PWJ will also build latrines with the community members to encourage using sanitary latrines, because about 80% of the residents do no have a latrine at their home. When the next hurricane or other natural disaster strikes, maintaining adequate hygiene becomes a critical component for a disaster risk reduction. Our staff will host workshops to discuss the importance of the latrine usage, as well as other good hygiene practices, and other disaster risk reduction measures.

In March, PWJ team visited the first community center construction site with the Mayor of Saint Jean du Sud and the neighboring residents for an inauguration of the construction. The response was welcoming: “Thank you Peace Winds for returning to our community! We are all ready to work with you!” said the Mayor.

PWJ also looks forward to building strong bonds with other community members, and building stronger community throughout Haiti.

Please support our community capacity building project in Haiti! Thank you