Imagine the sound of Nepali children busy and thriving in their safe school. That was GeoHazards International's impact in Nepal this past year, where years of work to strengthen communities before an earthquake paid off.
Here are some highlights from 2015 and a link to GHI's annual newsletter:
These children's school survived the magnitude 7.8 Nepal earthquake in April 2015. Thousands of buildings collapsed. But not their school. The National Society for Earthquake Technology - Nepal, following work initiated with GeoHazards International, rebuilt this building before the earthquake struck. Trained workers went on to retrofit or rebuild hundreds of schools in Nepal. A bright spot in all the devastation was that these schools stood strong, and students were able to resume classes without delay.
In Haiti, embracing a social approach to earthquake safety messages. GeoHazards International led a multi-disciplinary team to look for a better way to develop messages about how to stay safe during earthquake shaking. We included engineers, seismologists, social scientists, and disaster risk practitioners from many countries. We came up with a process for a local approach, which we will pilot in Haiti. GHI's Garmalia Mentor-William will lead the effort. A Haitian native, she is a medical doctor with a background in public health and extensive training in disaster management. Watch for future developments of this new two-year initiative.
Protecting hillside communities before a landslide disaster causes abrupt isolation.Triggered by earthquake shaking or heavy rains, landslides can sweep away homes and sever lifelines. Suddenly cut off from power and water, hillside communities suffer. It doesn’t have to be this way. Donations to GeoHazards International have enabled us to support local professionals' efforts to reduce vulnerability. For example, we have trained local geologists to assess the landslide risk in Aizawl, the ridgetop capital of India's Mizoram State. City planners are using this information to guide safer construction practices, and helping their city to get ahead of the looming threat. Read about this work, and more, in the GeoHazards International 2015 Newsletter
As GHI enters its 25th year, we remain dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable communities before disaster strikes, with the goal to end preventable death and suffering from natural disasters. Your gifts to GHI provide the seeds that make our work grow.