The Lower Lempa River Basin in El Salvador is unique in social terms and in the type of flood hazard it faces. During the civil war, this zone was depopulated. After the war, former combatants from both sides were offered land there for resettlement. A number of NGOs and civil society organisations provided assistance to the settlers, but this work was not well coordinated.
In 2000–2001, a diverse team, consisting of experts from Costa Rica and Colombia, the staff of two development NGOs and local government officials, was involved in the diagnostic and planning phase of a multi-stage programme to address natural hazard risk, livelihood enhancement and poverty reduction.
This phase involved collecting background and secondary data, field study, a household survey and work with focus groups. An action plan was developed and implemented. This case is important for agencies and institutions working in post-conflict situations, as well as those wishing to take a more holistic and integrated approach to risk reduction.