March 30, 2011

Flood victims say “thank you” to Cool Earth Supporters

More than one hundred Asháninka families say a big “thank you” to Cool Earth supporters for their help to recover from last month’s severe flooding.

Following severe flooding in several Asháninka communities last February, Cool Earth supporters rallied to provide emergency relief to the most effected families. Packages of food and gardening tools were delivered by boat up and down the Ene river over the last few weeks to help the villagers survive while they restore their gardens.

“We are all so grateful for the rapid help provided by Cool Earth, during this devastating flood,” says Javier Bustamante, President of TSIMI, the Asháninka Bioclimatic Association who are collaborating closely with Cool Earth to conserve their rainforest.”

As well as destruction to many of their houses, and damage to community buildings such as schools, many subsistence gardens have been destroyed and cash-crops, particularly chocolate trees, have also suffered damage. In one of the villages – Yoyato – the rising river levels last month reached as high as the second storey of several buildings.

In their usual tradition of jungle generosity and reciprocity, the flood victims have also found support among less effected neighbouring communities. Since it takes between three to six months to re-establish their essential subsistence crops, like manioc, other Asháninka have been sharing their food resources with their less fortunate friends and family.

In the longer term, many of the Asháninka are contemplating moving their village sites to higher ground over the coming dry season, between June and September this year.


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