February 27, 2011

Flooding Returns to Peruvian Amazon

As recently reported by Cool Earth, several Asháninka communities suffered flood damage to houses and gardens during late January and early February. Reports from the region at the start of last week suggested that the rains were weakening and the river levels dropping. In the last few days, however, the situation has worsened again.

Other areas of the Peruvian Amazon have also been hit. In Madre de Dios, for instance, a hugely swollen river has swept over its banks and devastated the native community of Boca Inambari. Local civil defence authorities are hoping to supply this village with tents, food and blankets as soon as possible, but communications with the thousand strong village are poor at best.

The river Inambari apparently rose 15 feet overnight taking with it over 43 family homes.

The second wave of flooding in the Ene river basin, where the Asháninka live, has caused more widespread damage impacting on more settlements in the communities where Cool Earth work to avoid deforestation.

According to Jhenny Munoz of the provincial government, there are over 5,000 Asháninka effected by the most recent rise in Ene and Tambo river levels.

Just yesterday, Munoz put out a call to the citizens of the provincial capital – Satipo – to donate blankets, clothing and food to the villages impacted. Happily, no deaths have been reported, but the municipality is very concerned about the possible post-flood increase in malaria outbreaks and the loss of cultivated land, the main source of subsistence for these communities.


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