Proteccion Civil (CCPC, communal committees for civil protection) to implement disaster risk reduction, considered essential for their security and development. Supported by a consortium of NGO’s active in the region (PRVAS) and Mesa Permanente de Gestion de Riesgos (a national network for the integration of disaster risk management in development planning), the communities strengthened their organization and capacities to propose development alternatives for people-centred security. Although enshrined in law, Civil Protection was traditionally abandoned by the State. The CCPC took advantage of the law to engage in a dialogue with the municipal government which responded positively, recognizing the CCPCs as part of the formal Municipal Comission of Civil Protection. The CCPCs also empowered the Community Development Associations (ADESCOS), and joined regional community networks to become an important actor in the local political arena. These governance arrangements enabled the implementation of risk mitigation activities that were previously not viable. Achievements over the past few years included a municipal emergency plan, new channels and dikes, water provision, reduced youth violence, income generation and improved health and quality of life. The municipalities have benefitted from the training of personnel by the CCPC and their supporters. Challenges have been political changes in local government, elections, and migration CCPC members. These local governance arrangements have strengthened the monitoring of the accountability of local government. During elections, political candidates are now encouraged to sign a commitment with the communities.
Source: Carlos Morales C (2009); UNISDR (2010)