GUAYAQUIL, RESILIENT CITY Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city with around 3 million inhabitants, is among the most vulnerable coastal delta-cities in the world. Earthquakes are a constant threat, due to its location close to the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area prone to high levels of seismic activity. In addition, climatological changes, such as an intensified rainy season and increased sea levels, have increased the risk of floods. Since the 1960 the deltalands in the Guayas river basin have seen rapid urbanization, especially through the occupation of lands by informal settlements. An estimated 60 per cent lives in these informal settlements that continue to grow unregularized every day. Since 2008 Ecuador has included an article in the New Constitution to protect people ánd nature from disasters provoked by nature or people. Risk-management is decentralized responsibility to regional areas. The city of Guayaquil counts with a risk-management department to protect its citizens of disasters of any kind. Not only institutions are trained, but also committees have been founded in the informal settlements, where those most vulnerable to natural risks learn to respond to natural risks. The first brigades have been implemented by a programme run by CARE in collaboration with the department of risk-management of the municipality of Guayaquil. Nowadays, the city counts with 28 active brigades. It makes the city resilient and empowers the poor not only to respond adequately to disasters, but also in strengthening communication and including them in decision-making processes.
Assignment carried out for CARE International in August 2019. In my projects I often take a solution-focus. In this story I was able to show how the city of Guayaquil is taking an inclusive approach and is preparing even the people in the informal districts, who do not exist on the maps, for disasters. According to me it is a great example beyond showing the bad consequences of climate change, but focusing on a city's response.