Enhancing Water and Disaster Risk Reduction

USAID responds to flooding along the Helmand River in Afghanistan, by providing critical assistance to the immediate needs of th
USAID responds to flooding along the Helmand River in Afghanistan, by providing critical assistance to the immediate needs of those people affected by the floods and supporting community efforts to rebuild their towns in the aftermath of the disaster.
USAID/Afghanistan

Water is a key variable in the causes and impacts of many natural disasters.

Most natural disasters are caused by water and climate-related events such as floods, droughts, hurricanes, storm surges and landslides. As climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, the number of water-related disasters is expected to rise. These weather and climate events can cause disruptions in health and social services, scarcities of food and water and an increase in conflict and migration. With the right tools to adapt to and mitigate adversity, communities can build resilience and continue to achieve development goals.

USAID works with developing countries to:

  • Reduce the risk of droughts and floods through more effective water resources management.
  • Assist countries with the installation and management of disaster monitoring and warning systems.
  • Promote the restoration of healthy ecosystems for, among other reasons, their buffering effect on disasters.
  • Re-establish functioning water supply and sanitation systems as a critical component of effective and timely responses to natural disasters.

USAID activities in disaster risk reduction include:

  • Flooding and landslides in 2007 and 2008 caused considerable damage and human suffering throughout the Terai region of Nepal. As of December 2012, USAID’s Nepal Flood Recovery Program (NFRP) had completed 132 community infrastructure projects, including flood control and irrigation systems for 19 square miles of land. The projects provided 171,948 days of temporary employment for local residents and benefited more than 830,000 people. In addition, the program had a strong water-related training component with close to 6,000 people receiving training in sanitation, hygiene, nutrition and home gardening. More than 1,500 people were also trained in disaster management and preparedness contingency planning.

Last updated: March 07, 2014

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