Special Monitoring Report: Humanitarian Situation in Nariño


Inda Sabaleta Indigenous Reservation, Awá Indigenous Community, Tumaco

Humanitarian Context

On September 18, a mass displacement took place in the Awá indigenous reservation, Inda Sabaleta, due to sustained armed confrontations between the Army and illegal armed actors. Through 24 September, the displacement reached a total of 1,080 people.

A new census undertaken by Acción Social on October 8, counted 871 IDPs and 176 who had to return to their homes due to the difficult conditions of IDPs on the temporary shelters established for the emergency.


UNHCR, IOM, OCHA, PAHO-WHO and Oxfam held a mission to the area on October 2, finding that, despite the efforts to improve the conditions at the IDP shelters, the situation continues to be one of high-risk, particularly due to the sanitation crisis related to problems in water distribution. Of the 5 water storage tanks, only 3 are being used, since the mobile tank for water transportation broke down. This is issue is being prioritized by the Departmental Health Working Group which met yesterday (10 October). Moreover, there are only two bathrooms in the shelters, in a precarious state.

Living conditions in general are also precarious, since temporary shelter only has capacity for half of the IDPs currently there, and since the conditions in the field have worsened due to heavy rainfall. PAHO-WHO reported that the communities lack adequate space for food preparation as well.

Since October 9, a series of mobilizations and blockades along the Pasto - Tumaco highway are taking place, affecting the access to the Inda Sabaleta reservation. This situation has forced a mission by Solidarity International and OCHA to be suspended.

According to PAHO-WHO, nearly half of the population is made up by children, whom are showing signs of malnutrition. Yesterday (October 10), the Ombudsman's Office reported the death of a six-month old girl.

National Response

- On October 2, ICRC distributed humanitarian assistance for one month, for 550 people (food, hygiene kits and cooking kits).

- On October 7, Acción Social distributed 300 food kits and materials for wood flooring in the temporary shelter.

- ICBF has been in permanent accompaniment of the population, and has distributed cleaning kits, blankets, mattresses and mosquito nets.

- The UNIPA Health Provider and the local hospital are assisting the population.

- On October 9, the regional office of Pastoral Social in Tumaco provided food aid.

- The Local Government distributed food and water for the affected population.

- The Government of Nariño summoned a meeting of the Departmental Committee for IDPs Integral Assistance on October 12, and announced the destination of 10 million Colombian pesos to improve the shelters (US$5000).

- The indigenous community created Health, Basic Sanitation, Communication, Food and Security Commissions.