As the flooding across the region subsides and the scale of the impact becomes apparent, our teams begin work in the recovery period, which consists of long-term preparedness and capacity building efforts to reduce the risk to animals from future disasters.
Our Disaster Assessment Response Teams (DARTs) found a considerable level of rural devastation in Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica, as well as along Mexico’s Pacific coast. Indeed, in the affected and assessed areas of Central America, an average of 20 to 60 percent of farm animals were affected, and while many animals were evacuated to higher areas, limited carrying capacity coupled with eventual pasture loss is expected to cause forage deficits in the near future. Therefore, WSPA has decided to focus on long-term national preparedness work which is crucial in these parts of the world where natural disasters and flooding are a regular occurrence.
Starting this month, WSPA will promote the creation of farm animal censuses in each Central American country and Mexico, emphasising their importance in being able to successfully plan for a disaster. We will also provide training to the region’s agriculture institutions in disaster risk reduction and in livestock emergency guidelines and standards (LEGS).
WSPA will also use its expertise to develop communications for use by agriculture institutions, local governments, and development agencies in disasters, like the public Service Announcements (PSAs) recently used in El Salvador and Mexico.