Bolivia

Bolivia: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 14

Attachments


This situation report is based on information received from the Office of the Resident Coordinator, UN Agencies, the Bolivian Government, the UN Emergency Technical Team (UNETT) in Bolivia and OCHA Regional Office in Panama.

HIGHLIGHTS

- Some 94, 000 families were affected by the floods in Bolivia that claimed the lives of 71 persons.

- The situation remains fluid, stabilizing in some parts of Beni, worsening in Santa Cruz with floods expected again in northern Beni next week.

- Floods are likely to continue through April. There is concern about sanitary conditions in shelters.

- Contributions to the Flash Appeal are urgently needed as the emergency continues.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

1. While the situation in the flooded department of Beni has stabilized and water levels are slowly decreasing, in the Department of Santa Cruz, uninterrupted rains during 17 hours has increased worsened the emergency. Water levels in the Piraí Rivers have increased, claiming the lives of eight children, and leaving the department partially without communication, while destroying houses and isolating various communities. The intense rainfalls also caused damages in the department's capital, Santa Cruz de La Sierra.

2. An Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) is being carried out in coordination with the Government and other humanitarian partners in the Chaco Region and in the northern part of the Department of Beni, as the waters are heading to the lower Northern region and are expected to affect the cities of Guayaramerín and Exaltación in approximately one week.

3. The accumulated number of affected families per department is as follows:

Departament
Total number of affected families in February 2008
Total number of affected families since November 2007
Alert level
La Paz
13,938
21,911
Roja
Cochabamba
603
9,940
Roja
Oruro
1,466
2,731
Naranja
Santa Cruz
13,460
20,830
Roja
Tarija
801
Naranja
Chuquisaca
1,250
9,114
Roja
Potosí
1,265
6,754
Naranja
Beni
20,323
20,992
Roja
Pando
974
1,017
Roja
Total
53,279
94, 090

The following information is available on the number of affected school facilities:

Departamento
Rural
Urbana
Total
La Paz
9
5
14
Cochabamba
56
56
Potosí
32
7
39
Beni
239
14
253
Pando
15
15
Total
351
26
377

4. The total accumulated number of affected students of pre-school, primary and secondary levels is approximately 33,000 in La Paz, Cochabamba, Potosí, Beni and Pando, of which 23,400 are in the rural areas. In the municipalities of Loreto, San Javier, parts of San Ignacio and north of Reyes, classes have not yet started because of the floods.

Situation per Department

Beni

5. During the second week of March, the situation in the department continues to be serious and complex. Yacuma, Ichilo and Ibare rivers are in red alert as well as their surrounding areas. Some 19 municipalities of the department have been affected by the floods.

6. It is estimated that water levels will rise in the northern zone (the lowest area), because of the large water quantities arriving from the central Beni area. This situation could particularly affect rural and isolated communities, mostly indigenous, living in the lower areas of the river basins.

7. Of the total of 430,049 inhabitants of the Beni department, at least 88,000 people or about 19,764 families have been affected. Of those families, some 5,106 live in shelters. There are 33 shelters in the city of Trinidad and 6 in the rural areas. In the city of Trinidad, outside of the ring dyke, most areas continue to be flooded. Within the city, the soil is humid and full of mud. There are a total of 59 water tanks and 57 latrines in Trinidad. Only 10 camps, assisted by Oxfam, World Vision, Save the Children and ADRA, have improved installations of water and sanitation. Camps not covered by the support of the international cooperation are not sufficiently provided with basic services. According to the UNETT mission to Trinidad (6-7 March), there is need for more latrines and better management of solid waste. There is also a need for complementary action for the rural areas, including assessments and humanitarian assistance. The control of diseases requires constant monitoring as water levels are decreasing.

8. A total of 26 health posts have been affected by the floods in Beni. WHO/PAHO informed that the epidemiological situation in Beni remains under control, but more dermatological medication is required.

9. On 8 March, the Ministry of Water visited Trinidad and provided 1,000 filters to be distributed within the Beni department.

10. PAHO/ WHO informs about the need for transportation of medical personnel to isolated rural communities.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.