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Friday, May 25, 2012

Peru: Stemming the Tide of Tragedy

Though you may not hear about it in the news, Peru is experiencing its worst floods in history. To date, at least 246,000 people have been affected. More than 52,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, along with 1,604 schools, 50 health centres, and over 500km of roads. At least 26,000 hectares of farmland are flooded – half the crops grown in Loreto – and over 55,000 farm animals (representing the livelihoods of thousands of families) drowned.

We are trying to be there for these families. We are going to help them to prevent this crisis from creating more tragedies than it already has.

The major challenge currently is preventing the spread of disease. When a population is poor to begin with, and then their clean water supply is cut off (because of damaged water lines), they don’t have enough food to eat, their infrastructure (hospitals, roads, etc.) is destroyed, and huge quantities of mosquitoes are breeding in standing water, this population is going to get sick.

Our goal is to get mosquito nets and medicine into the hands of these flood victims. We are also going to make sure they are taught what they need to know to prevent falling sick. If we can do anything to prevent epidemics, then we will have served these families well. The flood has destroyed enough; the least we can do is prevent further unnecessary suffering.

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