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Habitat for Humanity in Jamaica

On September 2014, Habitat for Humanity Latin America and the Caribbean – with funding from the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, began a disaster risk reduction project in Jamaica called “Building Resilience and Capacities for Emerging Disasters.”

In the span of 33 months, the $1.5 million disaster preparedness project, involving multiple partnerships, is expected to benefit more than 6,000 people living in the three most vulnerable areas of the Portmore municipality, near Kingston. A second phase of the project will run to December 2017.

Project components include:

  • Participatory risk analysis of the target communities; this includes asset mapping.
  • Increased awareness on vulnerabilities related to shelter; this includes trainings for building professionals and community members, and retrofitting demonstrations.
  • Improved hygiene and sanitary conditions through awareness and demonstration toilets (ecological and flood resilient).
  • Emergency preparedness trainings.
  • Funding of 12 risk mitigation microprojects (designed and implemented by community members).
  • Reinforced sustainable community coalitions and public-private partnerships aimed to increase capacity to cope with disasters.
  • Redevelopment plans in the three communities.
  • Safe land tenure in one of the communities.

To achieve these results, Habitat is working closely with key partners such as the West Indies University and the University of Technology, local and central government entities such as the Portmore Municipality council and the Office of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management, amongst others.

This project falls within the framework of Habitat’s Caribbean Strategy, which strengthens support to Caribbean countries mostly affected by disasters every year.