Honduras is one of the least developed countries in Central America, and economic inequality, corruption and political instability are all big factors blocking the path to progress. However, perhaps the biggest obstacle the nation faces is the environment itself.
Deforestation: Honduras’ mountains used to be covered in tropical rainforest, but large-scale deforestation has led to changing rainfall patterns and poorer soils. It has also has increased the danger of floods and landslides – especially during the annual hurricane season (June – November).
Tropical storms: in mountainous areas, storms often trigger landslides, especially in areas which have lost their forest cover. In low-lying coastal plains they cause serious floods. Poor communities are hit time and time again.
Natural disasters: natural disasters can severely hinder communities’ progress, even wiping out existing development work and displacing people, leaving them vulnerable and insecure. The latest research suggests that Central America will suffer significant impacts from future hurricanes and storm surges as a result of climate change.
Christian Aid has been working in Honduras since 1997. Our partners are helping communities prepare to face the worst when disaster strikes, as well as protecting what remains of the Honduran rainforest. They are also supporting small rural businesses to thrive and grow and advocating for tax reform.
CASM is the social action arm of the Mennonite Church in Honduras. It works to help vulnerable communities prepare to face the storms. It implements early warning systems and community action plans in order that livelihoods can be preserved and lives saved.
The Christian Organisation for Integrated Development in Honduras (OCDIH) works at village level to help communities strengthen their ability to deal with natural disasters. The villages it works with are establishing early warning systems to help alert themselves to flood risks, as well as emergency drill training and forming rescue brigades.
One of the main issues in Honduras is the use of slash and burn agriculture, and OCDIH are also encouraging a move away from this to more sustainable and environmentally friendly farming techniques.
ACT Honduras is an umbrella group of local agencies that can be brought together in times of emergency, and ensures a coordinated response to each disaster. After Tropical Storm Agatha in 2010, it provided food relief and medical help to more than 3000 people.
Partner FOSDEH is a national research and advocacy forum, and it currently monitors Honduras’ tax system in and raising the profile of tax justice in the public arena.
• Further information about the hurricane season and its effects on development.
• Partners tackling slash and burn agriculture featured on BBC Radio
• A bridge over troubled water: building an escape route for a riverside village.
What you can do
• Help us continue our support of partners in Honduras by donating.
• Find out more and join our climate change campaign
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