Capacity strengthening engages community in DRR

5 October 2023


Our Views from the Frontline project has increased community-level knowledge of threats and improved understanding around recurring disaster risk in Guatemala.

The community of Matazno, Jocotán in Guatemala has been hit by various disasters, including droughts and storms, often because risks and threats are not fully understood.

The impact of interventions to reduce risk often depend on the type and quality of data collected and documented at the local level. To build the capacities of community representatives, Food for the Hungry, a GNDR member, conducted training on identifying risks and threats. In particular, participants were informed about the role of early warning systems for preventing casualties during sudden-onset disasters, as well as emergency response activities, and mitigation and prevention techniques. 

The training programme has empowered Matazano residents to work together to identify the risks and threats that affect their neighbourhoods. The inclusion and participation of vulnerable groups in these activities has been central.

 As a result of the capacity building session, new partnerships were established between the Municipal Office of Integral Risk Management and the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction.

“We now have the facility to communicate and keep the community informed,” says Humberta Súchite, President CONRED, Matazano. He has since taken the lead to clean up garbage in the Matazano community with support from willing residents.

The partnership has facilitated the creation of a local action plan to build resilience. The first actions taken forward have been the formation and training of nine members of an emergency commission led by women in the Matazano community. 

The people of Matazano report being inspired to promote similar resilience building practices in other nearby communities. There is now strong local leadership for the establishment of an early warning system to streamline the dissemination of information, guidance and evacuation in case of emergency.

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