Treating drought like other natural disasters in Guatemala

Treating drought like other natural disasters in Guatemala

Bioversity International scientist Jacob van Etten explains how drought drills can improve Guatemala's response to drought, in this Thomson Reuters article.

"Since drought is a slow-onset disaster, it is usually not treated as an emergency event,” says Jacob van Etten from Bioversity International. Unlike hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes, drought encroaches slowly, and many governments tend to delay efforts to curb its effects until it is too late. Early action could help secure the livelihoods and food security of millions.

But how can we help governments improve their response systems to drought? In Guatemala, Bioversity International is working with ministries, research institutes and emergency response organizations, to carry out simulation drills to test the country's current response to drought and pinpoint areas that need attention and improvement.

This work will be increasingly important as Central America takes the hit from El Niño and the increasing unpredictability of climate change effects.

Read the full article in Thomson Reuters:
Emergency drought-drills to help Guatemala adapt to a drier climate