Keep Up-to-date on Environmental Health and Disasters with these Publications


In 2003, PAHO’s disaster program and its Center for Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences (CEPIS) began publishing a series on environmental health and disasters to disseminate lessons learned and new knowledge on risk management, concentrating on drinking water, sewerage, and solid waste, as these issues relate to health. The publications also look at protecting the infrastructure from the effects of disasters and restoring the level and quality of services as quickly as possible. The series targets professional and technical personnel who are involved in policy making and the provision of water and sanitation services. It is also useful for national and local emergency management and health protection agencies. To date, the series includes the following publications (all in Spanish with the exception of the last one mentioned):

  • Management of Solid Waste in Disaster Situations (see the last issue of this newsletter) complements guidelines and basic instructions with case studies from disasters in the Americas.
  • Impact of the El Niño on Water and Sewerage Infrastructure: Experiences from Ecuador 1997-1998” compiles the experiences of water and sanitation service providers, the effects this phenomenon had on infrastructure and the consequences to health.
  • Lessons Learned: The Eruption of the Volcano Reventador (2002) and its Effects on Water and Sewerage Systems analyzes how the vulnerability of these critical services can lead to a deterioration of the quality of service and outlines steps to deal with emergencies.
  • Minimizing Earthquake Damage: Guide for Water Utilities was translated into Spanish to form part of this series from the English-language publication by the American Water Works Association. It provides information, based on real-life scenarios, to assess a system's seismic vulnerability and find ways to minimize damage.

The Spanish-language full-text of these publications can be downloaded from the CEPIS website at For the English-language publication Minimizing Earthquake Damage, visit For more information or to comment on this series contact CEPIS at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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