Ecuador

Humana Ecuador together with people affected by the flooding in El Triunfo!

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This rainy season in Ecuador has been very heavy, and during the month of February the coastal areas were flooded. Our project area El Triunfo was one of the hardest affected.

The country was declared in emergency situation.

We in Humana Pueblo a Pueblo changed our plans and went together with the municipality and some other organisations, to help the people who were flooded. Around 75 families had their houses destroyed, and they moved into the camps, that the municipality had arranged. Many more families had their houses half filled up with water and mud, and had also to move part-time into the camps. 400 families were affected directly by the flooding in the municipality of El Triunfo.

The work consisted of collecting clothes and food in El Triunfo, and deliver it to the camps, and also go into the countryside together with the military, to reach the people isolated by the rivers.

We from Humana were working from the first days of the flooding, but little by little a lot of help were organized such as the military, the air force, Red Cross and the municipality itself with its equipment.

International help has also reached Ecuador. Humana - Spain forwarded our lists of necessary things and medicines to the Spanish Governments help organization AECID.

2 aeroplanes were sent from Spain with immediate help, and also Argentina and China sent aeroplanes with emergency help.

Humana Pueblo a Pueblo - Ecuador was showed on the national TV and Christian (the Project leader) was interviewed about the distribution of food and clothes.

In the last week of February we changed strategy and started to go through all our Child Aid areas. All the Area leaders had a questionnaire to fill out, to get an overview of the damages of each area.

They worked together with the president and/or with the coordinators of the areas to find which families had been hit by the flooding, and what the main problems of each area were.

The main task was to get people together and to make common actions, to secure the areas and to help the families without houses.

Some places the rivers are tearing down the riversides, and threatening the nearby houses, other places the dikes holding the river water from flooding the lower areas, has to be protected to prevent bigger damages.

The uniting of people was very good. In some areas the families got through to the municipality and got them to help with their machinery to repair or make dikes, others were united in common actions to make drainage and others were resolving what to do with some of the houses close to fall into the water.

This flooding has showed very clearly where the most vulnerable areas are and the poorest people, and even though the flooding has been less in the end of February, the emergency does not stop. The most affected areas are also where the illnesses can spread, like Malaria and Dengue. The amount of thyphoidea cases has increased remarkable in El Triunfo in the last month, because of contaminated water.

So there is a lot to do. Part of our child aid program now will be to work together with the municipality in health brigades and make campaigns in all our areas about the most needed subjects such as Dengue and Malaria, first aid and preventing accidents and preventing intestinal diseases.