Santiago de los Caballeros

Before the Flood (1)

Example of people living in flood prone areas

This is an excellent example of how disasters are made, shot in the city centre of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.

As the safe areas in the cities are occupied and owned by the wealthier part of the population, the only uninhabited areas are those the locals know are flood prone. People moving into these areas are usually from the countryside hoping to make a living in the bigger cities. They are usually moving to areas that are flooded every now and again (disaster risk factor). Often on the bottom of the income scale, they cannot afford to buy property high enough above flood level, and they cannot afford to build with robust construction materials, thus increasing their own vulnerability. Some  of the buildings above are built from plywood, cardboard, corrugated iron, even palm leaves.

No, the houses are not connected to any sewage system, it all runs into the stream. And yes, the white lump in the river on the right is a pig feeding on something unidentifiable. And: yes, the water level of the stream rises by 2-3 m during rainy season every year.

[amazon asin=0195374630&text=Recommended Reading&template=my favourites&chan=default]