Community-based Flood Risk Reduction Project to Launch in San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Belize

San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize (September 19, 2019) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) yesterday announced a new project for disaster risk reduction in collaboration with the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council and Galen University with the support of Taiwan. This partnership will improve the ability of local authorities and residents to reduce the negative impact of extreme weather events such as flooding which have impacted these communities both seasonally and during non-hurricane season.

“Disaster management especially in the area of flooding is a key concern for all residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. The San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council is therefore very grateful for the generous assistance of its partners the Pan American Development Foundation, the Taiwanese Government, and Galen University in mitigating such climate change induced risks” said His Lordship Mayor Earl Trapp, Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.   “The Town Council pledges to continue such efforts in our twin towns and to maximize the resources provided to combat such disasters.

“This partnership with the PADF allows Galen to build on an already existing collaborative relationship with the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council and provides us with new avenues for Service Learning for our Environmental Science faculty and students in which they can apply concepts and skills learned in the classroom to solving critical problems in our environment.” said Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird, Provost of Galen University. “It affords us a meaningful opportunity to fulfill our mission of offering responsive, cutting edge programs through experiential learning, service and research.” 

The project has three main objectives:

  • Collect, analyze and distribute geospatial data to inform the design of flood-risk reduction activities in the community;

  • Reduce vulnerability of members of flood-prone households and businesses through flood-reduction activities;

  • Produce flood-risk reduction reports to improve local government’s ability to prioritize and implement flood-risk reduction interventions

Expected Results

  • Train 100 businesses and households on developing flood risk reduction strategies and emergency response plan

  • Engage 40 participants (representatives of government agencies, students, and community members) and train participants to become producers of geospatial data to inform flood-risk reduction efforts;

  • Develop 3 strategy reports to provide an overview of flood risks in specific areas of the community, along with potential strategies to address these risks;

  • Organize 2 community-wide volunteer events to support debris removal and other low-cost flood risk reduction measures;

  • Develop 2 community-driven Contingency Plans in disaster risk reduction (DRR) 

The project will impact approximately 21,000 people in both towns and will be completed by February 2020. 

About PADF
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) seeks to create a just, peaceful, and prosperous hemisphere where every person has the opportunity to thrive – by promoting human development, strengthening democracy and governance, advancing justice and security, and fostering resilience. We include and empower marginalized groups, women, youth, LGBTI, Afro and indigenous people, and migrants. We partner with and enable civil society, governments, and the private sector for the greater good of the region. Join us!