Ecuador: June flooding affects food security of subsistence farmers

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 03 Jul 2001
From ODM Emergency Situation Report
In response to the flooding which ravaged the Amazon and Mountain regions of Ecuador 11-12 June, WFP has initiated a relief operation to assist an estimated 1,710 families, a majority of whom are subsistence farmers, considered the most vulnerable to food insecurity. In collaboration with the Ecuadorian Civil Defense, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Volunteer Fire Fighting Corps and the Red Cross, WFP is distributing 1,660 seven-day rations to families in the regions of Morona Santiago, Zamora Chinchipe, Napo, Tungurahua and Chimborzo. Despite this assistance, the destruction of tens of thousands of hectares of croplands will likely lead to an extended state of food insecurity, as these lands require an estimated 4-6 months to regenerate. To help address this crisis, WFP is currently mobilizing to distribute an additional 6,840 food rations. This assistance will ensure basic sustenance for flood victims in the coming month.

In addition, WFP continues to monitor the situation and provide technical assistance to partner organizations. Recent monitoring initiatives have revealed additional details on the situation in two of the hardest hit provinces:

Napo

With 16 deaths and nearly a thousand families reportedly affected, flooding and mudslides have created a perilous situation for the residents of the northeastern province of Napo. The loss of over 50% of harvest-ready crops (or an average of 4 hectares per affected family) has resulted in a state of food insecurity for many of the residents. Blockages and destruction of primary and secondary roads have impeded the transportation of urgently needed relief supplies, and the spillage of petroleum from ruptured pipelines has severely contaminated the surrounding rivers that provide drinking water for the region.

Chimborazo

For the 202 affected families of Chimborazo, the affects of the flood have been further complicated by volcanic material disturbed by intense rain. Resulting landslides have led to increased structural damage, blocked roadways and fractured lands. Particularly vulnerable is the community of Bilbao, where landslides and ruptures in terrain have resulted in 12 persons reported missing and another 45 unable to be evacuated. Chimborazo has also been hit with the same type of cropland devastation, loss of livestock and infrastructure damage experienced throughout the affected regions of Ecuador.