Bolivia: Floods Emergency Plan of Action Update DREF Operation no. MDRBO012

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

According to Ministry of Defence reports, 79 municipalities (of 338 in the country) are under a state of disaster and 25 are under a state of emergency as of April 8. A total of 47,125 families suffered partial loss of assets, 23,683 families have been left homeless, 34 people were reported dead and 26 people are missing. Major damages include loss of crops, housing and other assets. The rains that have been falling since the beginning of the year, influenced by the El Niño phenomenon, have caused different degrees of impact. On 2 and 3 of April, heavy rains affected areas between the departments of Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz, affecting 3,059 families in two municipalities in Monteagudo and Camiri.

Rains have affected different regions in Bolivia. Overflowing rivers and floods have been reported in Alto Beni, Palos Blancos, Guanay, Rurrenabaque, Riberalta, Villa Montes, Cutaiqui, San Borja and San Buenaventura.

The Bolivian Government declared a national emergency on 27 February, and on 10 April declared an emergency for the departments of Potosí, La Paz, Chuquisaca, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.

The Government has reported that the greatest number of victims is found in Potosí, La Paz, Chuquisaca, Beni, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba - more than 70,000 families affected between February and April. Rains are expected to continue through April in certain sectors, which could again cause flooding in the basins of the Mamoré, Beni, Parapetí, Bermejo and Pilcomayo rivers, which cover two thirds of the country.

The rains on 2 and 3 April caused further damage in Camiri, Santa Cruz, affecting 1,322 families in 19 communities due to flooding from the Parapety river. River flows have been higher than normal, affecting nearby communities in municipal urban and rural areas. These have compounded the damage caused by the previous month's floods that led to the emergency declaration on 21 March. Floods damaged communities' water systems, roads, homes, agriculture, among others.

In Monteagudo, Santa Cruz, the rains that fell on April 2 caused the Sauces river to overflow, flooding streets and homes and dragging vehicles and motorcycles through the streets. Los Sauces, Pedernal Fernández and San Juan del Piraí were among the most affected, as floods affected homes, crops and roads. According to preliminary assessments, 1,737 families lost their homes, trade was severely affected, there is severe damage to crops and animals, and some 30 homes are at risk of collapsing (in urban areas). At least half of the 80 communities that make up the municipality have been affected by the rains.