|Emergencies and Disasters in Drinking Water Supply and Sewerage Systems: Guidelines for Effective Response (AIDIS - Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) - WHO - OMS, 2002, 100 p.)|
|CHAPTER 3: DAMAGE ASSESSMENT AND NEEDS ANALYSIS|
The first step in information analysis is to compare the information collected previously about the system with the information gathered from the field inspections, in order to define the situation of the affected area. The information collected on the impact of the event will assist in carrying out the needs assessment.
The damage assessment should not be seen as the final assessment. Changing circumstances and the actions undertaken will generate new situations, which will require follow-up. Those components identified as high-risk call for greater control and continuing surveillance.
After needs have been assessed, it is necessary to identify the locally available resources. If these are insufficient, additional resources must be allocated, whether at the regional, provincial, national, or international level.
Needs must be classified and ranked in order of priority. The following is a list of potential needs for water supply and sewerage system companies:
· Human resources (professionals, technicians, labor);
· Equipment for the system, such as pumps;
· Supplies for the treatment of drinking water;
· Construction teams needed to rehabilitate the services;
· Water trucks needed for water distribution;
· Tanks needed for distribution points (hospitals, shelters, etc.);
· Pipes for urgent repairs and special accessories;
· Vector control;
· Excreta and waste management;
· Provision of drinking water (in bags, plastic containers, etc.);
· Communication systems.
If the assessments have taken into account, in a clear and orderly fashion, both immediate needs and those related to the rehabilitation phase, it will be possible to set priorities when organizing urgent external aid, whether provincial, national or international.
In parallel, the impact must be quantified based on the losses reported. The impact may be subdivided into different kinds, such as damage to the water supply and sewerage system infrastructure, impact on the environment (preferably in terms of the time needed to reestablish certain environmental conditions such as recovery of the water catchment area), and socioeconomic impact as a result of the destabilization of organizational structures.