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Additional info for Challenge in Disaster Reduction for the Water and Sanitation Sector: Improving Quality of Life by Reducing Vulnerabilities

Sample text

Increased environmental degradation has brought with it an increase in vulnerability not only for water and sanitation systems, but for the physical environment in general. Both at the local level (where deforestation of slopes increases the frequency of landslides) and at the global level (where climate change causes more frequent and more severe floods, hurricanes, and drought), environmental degradation increases the vulnerability of water and sanitation systems exposed to an ever-increasing number of hazards.

To this end, sectoral authorities and agencies must establish a regulatory framework that allows the space, the need, and the conditions for the work to be carried out. Once the levels are defined, works for vulnerability reduction should be oriented toward reducing the impact so that these levels can be reached in any scenario of identified risk. The levels of operation of the services—defined by the service providers and the local authorities—should ensure that during emergencies health facilities and shelters have guaranteed provision of services, which are indispensable for primary health care.

Conceiving new, safer services Including protective measures in the construction of new water and sanitation systems, which ensure sustainability in the presence of environmental risks, must not be limited for economic reasons. In complying with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), increased access to water and sanitation services is fundamental—not only for the specific water and sanitation target, but to support the entire MDG. This has made increased funding available for inclusion of protective measures, which is justified because of the contribution of these measures toward sustaining the systems.

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