3.1 Case study: Peru

On 15 August 2007, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Peru, killing more than 500 people and leaving more than 75,000 families homeless.

CARE Peru worked closely with authorities, community leaders and existing community institutions in assessment; selection of beneficiaries; distribution and monitoring of relief items; and implementation of emergency water, sanitation and shelter programmes.  In some cases, CARE identified women leaders who had mobilised as a result of the situation.

In the case of a latrine project, the community formed a new water and sanitation committee if one did not already exist. Community members were consulted on a number of design issues. Communities were consulted on the type of latrines for their community and families chose the position of their family latrine and wash basin along with the project engineers. A temporary shelter model was erected in the town square to solicit feedback from affected families.

Communities were asked to contribute through labour or materials for a variety of projects, from helping construct temporary shelter to providing community transport for latrine materials. Community members also took part in a three-stage health and hygiene training as part of the latrine project.

During the second phase, strengthening community-level organisation became a more explicit objective of CARE’s response. CARE also began working with district-level authorities on disaster risk management. Investigation and resolution of complaints was another key way that community members were involved. Monitoring visits included individual interviews and focus group discussions with different community groups. Women in the highland areas were very welcoming of these opportunities to discuss their opinions. Stakeholder feedback was a critical element of external evaluations commissioned by CARE.