Honduras is currently considered one of the most vulnerable countries in Latin America. The Germanwatch Institute (2010) ranked Honduras number three on the list of countries with highest levels of exposure and vulnerability to extreme events for 2008, confirming the urgent need to mainstream climate change into policies and programs. A recent evaluation from the World Bank concluded that 62 percent of the territory Honduras and 92 percent of the total population were at risk from two or more hazards, placing Honduras in the world’s top ten ranked countries at risk of natural disasters.
There is recognition of the need to increase water availability during the dry season and to reduce the risk of flooding. The Government is therefore endeavoring to address climate risks to water resources through a multi-pronged approach that includes improved governance at both national and local levels, strengthened capacities to generate science-based information, as well as development of vital sustainable infrastructure to reduce vulnerabilities to water scarcity and flooding. However, a series of barriers impede the effectiveness of the Government’s efforts. These include difficulties in downscaling climate change models; an absence of technical and human capacities to generate and monitor hydrologic and climatic data; weak communication flow between scientists and policy-makers as well as between institutions and different economic sectors; insufficient local and national capacities to mainstream climate risk considerations into development planning and programming processes, as well as an overall low awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation options for climate-resilient water resources management.
In the capital city of Tegucigalpa, heavy rainfall and the associated landslides and floods affect the economy and threaten lives. Due to the high cost of the land, the poorest people live in the most vulnerable areas, especially those prone to landslides. As a result of increasing rainfall, some of these landslides have become more frequent in recent years, affecting poor families’ houses. After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, the municipality of Tegucigalpa tried to relocate some of the most vulnerable residents to new small villages far from the city. In most cases, however, residents returned to their homes in vulnerable areas, as their only livelihood options and possible sources of income were in Tegucigalpa. There is therefore a need to develop response measures that reduce vulnerability levels of these highly exposed communities.
Efforts undertaken by the national Government with the technical support of UNDP have attempted to identify the country’s most vulnerable areas to climate change. Many workshops with key actors have taken place. Choluteca Basin, as part of Tegucigalpa’s upper water supply, was placed at the top of this list. This project therefore seeks to increase resilience to water-related risks in the most vulnerable populations in Honduras through pilot activities and an overarching intervention to mainstream climate change considerations into the water sector. Due to the cross-cutting scope of this sector, the project will contribute to incorporating climate change issues into the planning processes and investment decisions of key line ministries. Targeted work in Tegucigalpa and the watersheds that provision the capital city will validate concrete response measures – ranging from economic incentives to low-cost technology investments that will assist in orienting work at policy levels.
There are no related resources for this project.
Financing Amount$5,620,300 (amount requested and funded)
Vulnerable Populations; Urban Poor