Reality Check from the Frontline


The recent GNDR Frontline survey with over 13,000 people in Latin America has found that 90% of disasters prioritized by respondents are small scale, recurring, everyday disasters. These include seasonal flooding, pollution, and crime, which impact the lives, livelihoods and assets of communities. Yet, these disasters are largely unacknowledged, unrecorded, and communities are usually left to fend for themselves. Further:

  • These disasters do not impact everyone equally - 95% of people killed by disasters are from developing countries, and women, children and the elderly suffer the greatest disaster losses.
  • These disasters take place in complex contexts. More than 50% of people affected by natural disasters live in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

We are launching a series of Reality Checks – reports of local-level reality from different parts of the world. These reality checks help us answer what is real life at the frontline.

Anne Akwango tells us about how seasonal rains turn into everyday disasters and why we need a reality check.

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'Of course we are terrified. Each time there is heavy rain, there are landslides and fallen trees everywhere... But what can we do, we try to stay calm and hope nothing will happen to our family. Our livelihood is here, our coffee plantation is our main source of income, so we have no choice'.
"We have learnt to sleep with one eye open", is the way Getro Mathieu described with a smile the challenge of living in Haiti. 
Mount Cameroon volcano could erupt any day, and yet the community worries mostly about their homes collapsing in the heavy rains.
Regine from Kampala, Uganda, and many in the Bwaise neighbourhood have their lives and livelihoods damaged by the floods from seasonal rains; but it is not how much it rains, it's where the water from the rain goes. 
Everyday Disasters – A reality check from Honduras Honduras – 5000 were killed in Hurricane Mitch, 40,000 have been killed since in homicides. 
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