During community consultations conducted in June and July by representatives of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), found four common problems among the four cantons most affected by the earthquake on September 5, 2012.
The first concern is the need for training organizations and community leaders, said Lucrecia Siles, project coordinator. Currently, only the community of Nosara has a local emergency committee. The second problem is the lack of better access to potable water due to the poor financial support received by the ASADAs, followed by a general dissatisfaction with access to health services and poor road infrastructure.
“All four are issues of great importance when working in the line of action before, during and after a national disaster or national emergency,” Siles indicated.The consultations are part of a project to strengthen regional action for natural disaster risk management using citizen participation as the main tool in the cantons of Nicoya, Hojancha, Nandayure and Santa Cruz. “The support of the development associations of the four cantons has been fundamental during these months of work; the ASADAs are an important part of the project’s advancement, as well as the active participation of the health committees, Red Cross, firefighters and school boards that have particpated,” commented Siles.
Under the title “Strengthening the Early Recovery of Cantons After the Earthquake of September 5, 2012 in Costa Rica”, UNDP is working on this project in coordination with the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN) and the National Emergency Commission, since May of this year, visiting the communities and seeking joint solutions through workshops for better regional organization in the event of an emergency. After validation from the communities, UNDP will continue with the presentation of the project to the municipal councils to make known the lines of action so they can be included in the local human development plan of the canton (2010-2020).
The project has a budget of $100,000, which, according to Siles, only covers the organization of the community workshops. Currently, UNDP is developing a series of documents with the results of these meetings to promote this human development initiative through adequate risk management for potential natural disasters.