A very big thank-you to the many donors to Intrepid’s Peru Floods Appeal. Along with matching funds from Intrepid Travel, The Intrepid Foundation is very pleased to have raised AU$40,000 for the work of Plan in the Cuzco region.
A quick recap of events: This year’s rainy season led to devastating flooding and landslides in Peru. In the Cuzco region, rain falling since January 2010 caused 3 major rivers to burst their banks, several areas including Zurite were hit by landslides and an entire town in Quispicanchis province virtually disappeared. In the weeks following the initial disaster, intense rainfall led to further devastation, particularly in the Taray district. At least 27 people have died, more than 10,000 homes destroyed or seriously damaged leaving thousands homeless and there has been widespread destruction of infrastructure and crop loss.
The better news that we can share with you, is that due to Plan’s existing presence in the impacted communities, their local knowledge and access has enabled a prompt response. Plan has been able to meet the short term needs of families by:
- Distributing food, cooking kits, hygiene kits and safe drinking water for 1000 affected families;
- Providing families with tents for shelter and furnishings for children and babies;
- Focusing on the unique needs of children, including distribution of over 1000 sets of children’s clothing and baby hygiene kits and organising psycho-social support activities;
- Ensuring the maintenance and replenishment of oxygen and nebuliser tanks at 31 health centres.
Child protection in shelters is a special concern for Plan and they have a working agreement with the Ministry of Health to provide psychological care for children. In order to mitigate post-emergency stress in children, Plan organised therapeutic spaces called “Kusi Wasi”. This task has been carried out in four temporary shelters, bringing together more than 600 children who, in addition to psychological work, receive healthy food rations during their stay. Their work with children is supplemented by special sessions scheduled with parents so that they can provide support to their families.
There are many challenges ahead in the reconstruction phase…
Resettlement of affected families: Currently there are major problems related to the availability of land located in safe areas. Temporary shelters will remain for an undetermined period of time, however the level of occupation by the affected families will gradually decrease. Some of the families have been located in other homes with relatives or in rental houses.
Food Security: There are fears of a food crisis later in the year due to the enormity of crop loss and destruction and there’s added pressure with the pending cold season.
Livelihood: Crop loss has limited the availability of products for subsistence let alone commercialisation. In addition, funds from the sale of handicrafts and services in general have been weakened by the decline of tourism in the region.
Child Health and Protection: Although the populations living in shelters now have basic health services provided by the Government through campaign tents and psychological support in coordination with Plan professionals, this support will not continue. This puts at risk the child population especially at the approach of cold weather and with the existing living conditions.
We look forward to keeping you in touch with how the region is recovering, with further reports in coming months. The Intrepid Peru Floods Appeal is now closed and again, our sincere thanks to all who contributed!
Photo: Huacarpay © Plan Peru