Since 1992 OAS/DSD has being working in the education sector vulnerability reduction to natural hazards at the hemispheric level. In 1995 OAS/DSD launched the Education Sector Vulnerability Reduction to Natural Hazards Program (ESVRNHP) in Central America. ESVRNHP included the development of the sector vulnerability reduction policies, the education infrastructure planning process, schools mitigation projects, and emergency preparedness education programs. All participant countries in Central America developed their Sector Strategic Plan to Reduce the Vulnerability to Natural Hazards. Also, the Education Sector Strategic Plan to Reduce the Vulnerability to Natural Hazard in Central America was drafted.
Statement of the problem
A disaster risk management education plan should consider the vulnerability of the education infrastructure to natural hazards. The consideration of such vulnerability should include the prevention of threats that hinder the continuity of services offered by the school. Only recently, damage to educational infrastructure caused by natural events has been recognized in terms of the loss of hours in the classroom which consequently diminishes the quality of education. Even small floods affect school operation by hindering school based activities. Furthermore, as centers used as shelters in case of emergency, it is essential that strategies be developed to ensure that the buildings are quickly restored to their normal function after a disaster occurs.
Most of the current inventory of educational infrastructure in Central America is vulnerable to natural hazards. The cause of this is due to the lack of knowledge about natural hazards existing in the area where the infrastructure was built; the use of inadequate school design, construction and modification practices; and the high level of deterioration that is found in some buildings due to lack of preventative maintenance. Many times, although the authorities are conscious of the risk level, budgetary restriction usually determine that available funds are used for repairs or additions to school infrastructure and do not consider the building’s vulnerability to natural hazards. Most lending and technical cooperation institutions do not consider the vulnerability of school buildings to natural hazards as an objective of their projects. Nor is protection considered, during or after a disaster, for the student population, equipment or goods and services that are found within the school buildings.
To create a sustainable process through which communities may access support to retrofit vulnerable primary and secondary schools in Central America using grant proceeds to complement local organizational, labor and technical assistance contributions and to reduce the vulnerability to natural hazards of the public school buildings in the Central America countries, by strengthening the capacity of public and private-sector actors to develop strategies for the management and retrofitting of educational buildings according to their natural hazard vulnerability.
Central American Spanish speaking countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
Phase I was focused on the documentation of institutional and technical experiences and the review of national school vulnerability reduction plans. Phase II included:
This page was last updated on Wednesday September 29, 2010.