The pandemic and the climate crisis have shown us that we do not react to warnings until we are faced with the evidence. We face a new age of uncertainty that forces us to adapt to the constant changes that will arise. Now, the existing warning is that risks will be collective and unavoidably shared. Science and solidarity are our key assets to move forward.
The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has coincided with the confirmation of the increasing deterioration of climate data. Droughts, heat waves and violent phenomena are the source of famines, increase poverty and threaten to cause more damage than coronavirus in the long term. Both the health and climate crises, albeit with different time scales, are universal and require immediate action.
Not only meteorological forecasts are necessary. Moving forward in the knowledge of the social and economic factors that shape the human risks in floods is essential to reduce the damage. The climate crisis poses a pressing management challenge.
Last summer two earthquakes and one tsunami devastated two of the poorest areas of Indonesia. The recovery of the access to water and sanitation is a priority so that those who have lost everything get their lives back. The Foundation takes action once again to help those affected by natural disasters, a tragedy aggravated by anthropogenic factors, such as exposure and vulnerability, whose reduction is one of the great challenges for a fair and sustainable future of mankind.
Keeping the population in its land and investing in infrastructures are key factors to recover a region after a natural disaster. To do so it is essential to restore the access to water with the full participation of all victims in the operation and maintenance of the infrastructures. This participation is a key factor to achieve a sustainable recovery. The project of the We Are Water Foundation in the Philippines shows that resilience is possible, reviving the growth expectations of the population that experienced the disaster of Typhoon Haiyan.
When a hurricane devastates, water is always scarce. When the hurricane ceases, recovery starts with the first emergency aid. It is then that a simple drum becomes essential: the storage and purification of water is only available to those who have it and it can save their lives.
The inhabitants of the capital of Ethiopia suffer an endemic lack of water supply and inadequate sanitation. Addis Ababa is an example of the general situation of a country, systematically devastated by famine, where water is present but there is no access to it.
The evaluation of the factors that define disasters caused by nature´s violent phenomena is the first step to avoid them. The understanding of the concepts of exposure and vulnerability is the base of any prevention and action policy. In all cases, the access to water and sanitation is always the core idea of any emergency actions and key factors of resilience.
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