14. Apr. 2017
Practical Action fights looming health emergency by bringing access to safe and affordable water to 7 affected communities in northern Peru.

Due to one of the worst floods in Peruvian history, more than 20,000 inhabitants in the Piura region in northern Peru have been left homeless. Flooding of four rivers in the region has blocked main roads (80%) and has isolated several communities, complicating the provision of food and clean water. The situation in shelters is becoming increasingly difficult, with people suffering from a lack of safe water and adequate sanitation.

"Health emergency has been declared in Piura because of the threat of dengue fever, gastrointestinal illnesses and cholera (red alert), skin and respiratory illnesses. If there are no preventative and emergency management measures taken, this could lead to an epidemic, so immediate help is essential "
Max Watanabe, coordinator of Practical Action Disaster Risk Management Programme in Latin America


Extreme weather creates flood emergency
In Peru, more than 800,000 people are affected by an El Niño-like weather phenomenon, creating massive amounts of rainfall over the Andes mountain range. The rainwater floods the river valleys running from the mountains towards the Pacific coast. The Piura region in the north is one of the most severely hit, and the situation for many is critical as water sources and systems have collapsed under floods and mudslides.

Due to the damage to housing, many people are crowded together in refuges. These refuges are improvised and are using insufficient tents, which do not meet the minimum international standards to ensure safety and habitability. Water is being provided in some areas, but the disorganised and intermittent humanitarian response means it is limited and rationed.

Practical Action provides disaster relief in poor communities
With a 1M DKK disaster relief grant from the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, Practical Action will be able to help more than 8,000 people in Piura.

“We have been working in Piura for several years. With the support of the Foundation, we will provide disaster relief for seven poor communities, which as a consequence of the devastating floods and landslides in March have had the local water systems destroyed” Max Watanabe explains.

8,350 inhabitants in the communities of Polvorines, Cuatro de Mayo, Las Montero y Alejandro Toledo, Los Jardines, La Encantada, Villa Batanes and José Carlos Mariátegui, all situated in the Piura Region can now look forward to immediate help as 1,250 emergency water kits and 8,350 mosquito nets will be distributed, securing survival and recovery for these Peruvian families who have lost almost everything.

The disaster relief project will also address sanitary education, basic water and sewerage systems, recovery and implementation of safe water sources and systems, provision of 1,250 family water-kits and home storage systems, support for water extraction, refilling and compacting waterlogged areas with pumps and organised workforces, implementation of pulverized aspersion equipment to fumigate homes and puddles, plus protective equipment, among other solutions.

About Practical Action
Practical Action is an international NGO that uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries. Through technology, Practical Action works to help poor communities build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions. The NGO has extensive experience with solar pumping in rural areas. Practical Action is one of the Foundation’s strategic partners.


Photos from Chulucanas

Photos from Polvorines bajo y Castilla