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The Centrality of Community Dynamics in the Socio-economic Recovery of Devastated Communities

Issue: 
Pages: 
441–5

ABSTRACT

Objective: To assess and explore the health and socio-economic outcomes of Jubilee, a community on the Caribbean island of Grenada hit by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and to identify remaining barriers to recovery.

Methods: The assessment consisted of a mixed methods approach employing observations, household surveys, in-depth interviews and focus groups.

Results: Eighty-five per cent of the residents live in a single-family home type dwelling which is occupied by multiple families. Twenty-seven per cent of the respondents depended on a river or stream for water and 83% utilized an outdoor pit latrine. Construction accounted for 28% of the employment while 16% reported having no occupation. Public and private transportation was limited and 48% of the residents lived on less than one United States of America (US) dollar per day. Access to healthcare was reported by 89% and the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension was identified by 13% and 30% of the residents respectively. Social fragmentation within the community represents a barrier that keeps the community from developing common goals leading to full economic recovery.

Conclusion: Jubilee has not fully recovered from the effects of Hurricane Ivan, but progress has been made in the reconstruction effort. These efforts have addressed the most immediate and basic needs of the community, mainly utility service infrastructure and home repairs. However, issues related to the community’s economic recovery are still unresolved.

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e-Published: 20 Sep, 2013
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