On 16 April, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake (Richter ;scale) struck coastal areas in north-west Ecuador, its epicentre located close to the town of Muisne and 170km northwest of the capital Quito. Although the epicentre was situated in a remote rural area, several ;towns in coastal provinces were affected. More than 300 aftershocks have been registered to date.
The effects of the earthquake have affected a large number of people and have damaged the socio-economic infrastructure and livelihoods of many families. Preliminary official data indicated 6,998 destroyed buildings and 2,740 damaged. MIDUVI throughout the Infrastructure and Rehabilitation Group 3, has been evaluated in Manabí 16.683 buildings, defining 4.973 as unsafe and 6.633 with restricted use. In Esmeraldas of 662 buildings evaluated, 181 are unsafe and 202 have restricted use, but it is necessary to continue the evaluation of all the buildings both urban and rural levels. The demolition of unsafe buildings and debris management is the immediate and necessary step within the humanitarian and recovery process in order to identify safe sites for shelters, facilitate access and repair of strategic infrastructure and livelihoods recovery.
Group 6 leaded by the Ministry of production, employment and competitiveness (MCPEC) has reported how affected are the livelihoods in the provinces of Manabí and Esmeralda, particularly the homeless and low-income families’ dependent on farming, fishing craft, and linked to the popular trade and tourism in small economy scale.
On the other hand, people who have lost their homes are in different spaces (hostels, camps or host families), out of 28,439 families that are in shelters and spontaneous shelters in Santo Domingo, Esmeraldas and Manabí provinces, 1,036 people are reported with disabilities, of which 373 are in shelters and 283 with host families, reflecting the need to set respond to this focal group with specific approach.
The ER cluster has set the following strategic approach:
• Debris management: rapid evaluation of structures; access to information; demolition of damaged buildings and infrastructure; open roads and restore access; management of dump sites; manual and mechanic debris removal. The programme will use cash for work/production to ensure community engagement and emergency employment for affected families and an equal participation of women.
• Community infrastructure rehabilitation restoring basic socio-economic infrastructures and access of critical lifelines. Interventions aim to immediately stabilize livelihoods in affected areas including support to ensure food and nutrition security, provide emergency employment targeted for women and vulnerable community members, and strengthen community and local government capacities to coordinate and manage recovery processes.
• Provide emergency support to disabled people in vulnerable condition due to the earthquake in the most affected areas. In order to ensure access and mobility of disabled people to basic services, activities include the recovery of basic accessibility conditions in shelters, public spaces and other facilities in affected areas, with emphasis on women living in temporary shelters.
United Nations Development Programme
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