Emergency 20L Water Container

Date / Period
Object Type
Disaster Management

It was the deadliest hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean in two centuries. At the height of its power over the course of October 26-27, 1998, Hurricane Mitch remained a Category 5 storm for 33 straight hours, maintaining winds of over 290 km/h for 15 hours. Worst hit were Honduras and Nicaragua, which combined experienced over 10,000 deaths, up to 18,000 people missing, and $5 billion in damage.

"Many of the people here lost totally everything,” said Rosa Suarez, vice president of the Honduran Red Cross. “When I say totally, I mean totally.”

As is usually the case with flood, public and private water networks were terribly damaged and water containers like this one helped bring clean water to those affected.

The Canadian Red Cross, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Honduras and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nicaragua, ran a four-year project dedicated to rebuilding villages wiped away by flooding and mudslides. Tied into the reconstruction effort was a primary health care project which addressed disease prevention, education, and strengthening the ability to handle critical needs.

In Nicaragua, reconstruction beneficiaries were provided with temporary onsite shelters, allowing them an active role in rebuilding their communities. As a condition of financing from the Red Cross, free transfer of home ownership was required, and a 10- to 20-year restriction was placed on reselling properties. Combined with additional UNDP funding, around 1,300 homes were built.

In Honduras, beneficiaries continued to live in their old homes where possible or in temporary housing built by the IOM. Those affected provided unskilled labour and acted as security to guard construction materials. All houses were equipped with running water and sanitation. Water came from various sources.

Emergency 20L Water Container

Water Container
Water containers like this one helped bring clean water to those affected by the worst Atlantic hurricane in two centuries.
Hurricane Mitch
Hurricane Mitch

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