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Uruguay - Public policy integration of risk management of hazards of water origin (Inglês)

Uruguay is affected by floods more than by any other adverse natural events. In the last decade, floods corresponded to about 50 percent of all the extreme events registered by the National Emergency System (SNE). Since 2000, more than 67,000 people were evacuated across the country due to floods. The 2007 floods, the worst recorded in the last 50 years, affected more than 100,000 people, public infrastructure, and the agricultural sector with losses estimated at US$20 million. In addition to an increase in rainfall intensity, floods have intensified as a result of poor storm-water systems in cities. According to a recent assessment, 60 Uruguayan cities have drainage deficiencies, of which 70 percent are considered significant. The objective of the grant was to strengthen the response of DINAGUA (National Directorate of Water) to extreme flooding events by: (i) introducing disaster risk reduction into legal and national policy frameworks, (ii) assisting in the establishment of a disaster risk reduction unit, and (iii) providing knowledge and capacity enhancement opportunities at the national and local levels. The grant financed advisory work, training, and workshops. DINAGUA housed consultants, coordinated workshops and interagency meetings, and executed the studies. The core approach was to support DINAGUA's policy-maker role in the water sector in order to move forward the DRM agenda focusing on flood prevention and mitigation. The project was designed with strong multi-institutional and cross-sectoral participation, as the introduction of new regulations and their implementation depended on several national agencies and local governments. In addition, through the development of a pilot project in the City of Artigas, DINAGUA demonstrated the application and importance of risk maps in land use planning, facilitating the dialogue with other local governments and national agencies. The knowledge base activities focused on several technical and policy workshops to increase DRM awareness and create local capacity.

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