At the age of 95, Mme Seide Dely of Anse-a-Veau, Haiti, at last had a family home that could stand up to the next earthquake, tsunami or hurricane thanks to GeoHazards International. She had survived three devastating disasters in Haiti, despite the fact that her previous homes had not.
Women elders, single mothers and poor women are more likely than others to perish in disasters. The reasons have to do with social context, not biology. Often, they were trapped in poorly built homes, or they took precious evacuation time to gather children or elders.
Mme Seide fit all of those descriptions. She defied the odds, but many women like her throughout the world do not.
You may not realize that natural disasters thrust about 26 million people into deeper poverty each year, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, and this tends to take a worse toll on women and girls. Our work, helping communities to reduce risk before disasters, aims to stop this trend.
Too many people live in unsafe built environments around the globe. But solutions to reduce risk are never purely technical or one-size-fits-all.
At GeoHazards International we engage diverse voices, including women, whose experience and insights contribute to a safer path forward for everyone. Mme Seide was a great example of this—she spent time with young people, telling her story and lessons learned surviving the 1952 earthquake, 1963 Hurricane Flora, and 2016 Hurricane Matthew.
Happy International Women's Day to all of you, our supporters and friends who enable these efforts!
Veronica Cedillos, President
and the Team at GeoHazards International