Natural hazards and disasters

The position of Nicaragua makes it highly vulnerable to disasters such as hurricanes that cause floods and landslides, earthquakes, wildfires, droughts, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

The tropical cyclones that cross the country from the Atlantic every year provoke extensive floods and landslides. Hurricane Felix in 2007 and Tropical Depression 12-E in 2011 caused major loss of life and damaged infrastructure and the environment.

Ecosystems are under great pressure from deforestation, soil erosion, sedimentation and contamination.

There is a high probability these events will increase in frequency and intensity due to climate change.

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Effects on people

The PfR partners focus on the areas suffering droughts, floods and landslides – all of which reduce the availability of water and increase waterborne disease, isolation and food insecurity.

Livelihood diversity is low: most communities produce no more than three crops. Rain-dependent agriculture is vulnerable due to the use of traditional methods, its productivity low.

The inadequate use of land combined with environmental degradation, increasing temperatures and more unpredictable rains all erode productivity.

What PfR does

In the department of Madriz, which belongs to the ‘dry corridor’ of Nicaragua, the PfR alliance is working with the people of two river basins, focusing on reducing the risks of droughts, floods, storms and landslides.

Disaster reduction activities include strengthening emergency response, climate change adaptation strategies, better land-use, improved ecosystems and water management, disaster mitigation, and documenting local and traditional knowledge.

On the Caribbean Coast, the alliance is partnering with government and non-governmental actors to develop a climate adaptation strategy for the entire region.

PfR also works in schools and universities, teaching young people about risks and what they can do to reduce them. It carries out information campaigns and advocacy.

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The partners supported the development of climate change adaptation strategies in four municipalities and the RAAN region.

A watershed management plan was developed for the Analí an Tapacalí river sub-watersheds, together with two academic institutions to stimulat sustainable land and water use and improve the quality of life for its inhabitants.

Partners implemented several micro-projects to improve the livelihoods of rural families in Madriz.

Communities were stimulated to rediscover good practices and recover valuable indigenous and local knowledge in relation to disasters, climate and ecosystems.  

Partners facilitated to improve the sustainability  of the rosquilla value chain.

Teachers and children of four municipalities in Madriz were trained in school safety.


Total beneficiaries:

Madriz department, Autonomous Region of the Atlantic North (RAAN).

Implementing partners:
Nicaraguan Red Cross Society, CARE, Instituto de Promoción Humana (INPRHU), Asociación de Municipios de Madriz (AMMA), Wetlands International, with technical support from the Red Cross & Red Crescent Climate Center