Seismic Safety in Andean Communities Chocos district, Yauyos Province, PERU

PROJECT OVERVIEW: At its epicenter, the 2007 earthquake in Peru measured 8.0 on the Richter scale. This post 2007 project by ESTRATEGIA: Center of Investigation and Action for Urban Development took place in Yauyos Province in the Lima Region. It focused on strengthening communities, building awareness, and the prevention of further natural disasters. Risk mapping was a key element of the training conducted by Estrategia. Training began with on the ground observations of seismic problems by the community, and the development of collective problem-solving approaches. With this new knowledge and capacity, a school in Chocos was improved, and both men and women were trained in seismic resistant building techniques. Subsequently they were able to earthquake proof their homes. School children were also trained in disaster awareness. The community subsequently elected a Management Committee which went on to pressure state and local authorities to enact progressive measures on disaster prevention and land titles. Overall, the Estrategia project stimulated improvement programs in other districts in Yauyos Province and has been presented to the National Congress of Peru Housing Commission. Technical support was provided by Stanford University and The Catholic University, Peru. The NGO, Geohazards International, managed the project, provided financial support, and the services of a civil engineer.

CATEGORY: Civil Society SETTING: Urban STATUS: Completed project

BY: ESTRATEGIA - Center of Investigation and Action for Urban Development

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Gaining title to farming lands is the longstanding issue that initially helped mobilize this community. Post 2007, and with an increased awareness of the dangers of earthquakes post, community engagement expanded to embrace disaster prevention training. With the support and engagement of the Mayor and local councilors, the election of a five woman Management Committee, and the presence of people trained in seismic resistant construction, engagement with other areas of government and related programs also grew, resulting broad based community engagement and buy-in to the project.

PARTNERS: GeoHazards International; Stanford University Civil Engineering students and teachers; Catholic University; ESTRATEGIA