Tegucigalpa turns 444 amid vulnerability, poverty

Tegucigalpa, Sep 29 (EFE).- Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, commemorated the 444th anniversary of its foundation Thursday overwhelmed by poverty and vulnerability to rains, which in recent weeks caused landslides that have totally or partially destroyed dozens of houses.

Unplanned urbanization and environmental degradation have increased the vulnerability of the Honduran capital, where some 1.7 million inhabitants live, most of them in poverty, amid natural disasters, Fausto Mejia, the president of a forestry NGO, told EFE.

“The lack of planning and prevention” have caused the vulnerability of Tegucigalpa, a former mining town surrounded by mountains, he said.

He added that in Tegucigalpa “there has been no urban development plan,” and added that the Municipal Mayor’s Office does not require the reforestation of certain tree species according to soil conditions.

The expert urged authorities to prepare an “urban and development plan, but linked to the natural conditions and the environment of the city.”

He added that Tegucigalpa, founded by the Spanish, is a city “highly vulnerable” to the rains, which have left at least 14 dead and three missing in the country in the last three weeks, according to official figures.

The capital also needs “a good reforestation plan,” said Mejia, adding that Tegucigalpa “has always been vulnerable,” but “more remained” with the passage of hurricane “Mitch” in 1998, which also affected Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. EFE


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