Nicaragua

Floods destroy homes, crops in Nicaragua

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An FHI grant to a Nicaraguan health agency has helped families survive floods and mudslides in Matagalpa department.
PROVADENIC, a community-based rural health program of the Baptist Convention of Nicaragua, saw in early July that two straight months of rain was endangering lives in the communities of Sabalete and Apantillo. These villages, like others in the area, have neither electricity nor telephone so PROVADENIC only learned of their situation when they travelled to the area for the inauguration of a clinic. Because the roads were blocked to both foot and animal traffic, one PROVADENIC health promoter swam across a river to bring news of the needs in his village.

Although there had not been any fatalities, numerous families had lost their homes and other houses had to be abandoned because the structures were in danger of being obliterated by mudslides. Additionally reports say the majority of families in Apantillo have lost their crops.

Through FHI's grant, PROVADENIC was able to provide 60 families in Apantillo and Sabalete with corn, rice, sugar, beans, cooking oil, and chlorine to purify water. Other funding sources allowed for distribution of antifungal cream, antibiotics and pain relief medication. Some of the local health promoters and their committees also contributed food and clothing despite having very little to meet their own needs.

PROVADENIC hopes to aid families longer term since so many lost their homes and fields. They also continue to educate families about ways to combat the health risks that come with floods --chlorinating water to prevent diarrhoea outbreaks; eliminating standing water near the home to prevent malaria and dengue fever; and early diagnosis of pneumonia in small children.