Around 15,000 families in 246 communities were severely affected by drought in the Chaco region of Paraguay since early May 2013. This situation had a direct impact on water collection for human consumption and use in livelihoods. In support to the food security and livelihood activities completed by the government of Paraguay, the National Society has been working to meet the needs of access to water and sanitation of 16 communities, one of them in Mariscal Estigarribia and 15 in Filadelfia municipality, Department of Boquerón
Since the start of the emergency and the launch of the appeal, the Paraguayan government provided food and seeds to affected families through the support of international institutions working in the Paraguayan Chaco region. The climate forecast for February, March and April 2014 issued by government of Paraguay’s Department of Meteorology and Hydrology and the data available for the precipitation forecast were used to select two regions for this quarter: Region I covers Alto Paraguay, Boquerón and Presidente Hayes in the western region and San Pedro, Concepción, Amambay, Canindeyú, Alto Paraná and Itapúa in the eastern region, where trends indicate precipitation within normal values, while Region II comprises the central and south-eastern areas, Cordillera, Guairá, Ñeembucú, Paraguarí, Caazapá and Caaguazú. In this region, precipitation levels are expected to be below the normal average during this quarter.
Government authorities conducted a mapping of the situation regarding the drinking water and sanitation of the indigenous communities in El Chaco. The compilation of data was performed by a team composed of members from the inter-sectorial committee of the following institutions: National Emergency Secretariat (SEN), National Environmental Sanitation Service (Servicio Nacional de Saneamiento Ambiental - SENASA), Indigenous Peoples’ Institute (INDI), Directorate of Water and Sanitation--Ministry of Public Works and Communications (DAPSANMOPC), OXFAM, Moisés Bertoni Foundation, Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI), Mingará, and Avina Foundation, among others. Government officials from Alto Paraguay, Boquerón and Presidente Hayes also provided support. The mapping was structured around three components: existing water systems, assistance to indigenous families and areas vulnerable to drought. It also identified the indigenous territories in El Chaco.
Due to these developments, new needs assessments were carried out by the PRC with the support of two specialists in water and sanitation and livelihoods in January and March, including the participation of 4,445 people and this information was included in the Revised Appeal. Due to low appeal coverage, the initial budget was reduced in 72 per cent. The revised appeal aimed to assist a reduced number of families because many of the food security and livelihood needs were covered by other organizations, such as the UN and Paraguayan government, and the limited funding required to prioritize actions.
The Paraguayan Red Cross sought to meet the water and sanitation needs of 15 communities in the municipality of Filadelfia within the Department of Boquerón. These communities were identified and prioritized together with the municipalities and the department-level government after more detailed assessments were conducted in January 2014.
At the close of the operation, 186 water systems were repaired and six family ponds (for agriculture and livestock) were rehabilitated (four with geo-membrane), with the aim of providing support to the population’s livelihoods during the dry season. These actions were complemented by hygiene promotion campaigns and household visits to families, as well as the broadcast of local radio spots.
At the end of the operation, a total of CHF 142,526 were spent on relief items, construction and supplies; CHF 7,248 were spent on logistics, transport and storage costs; personnel costs incurred were CHF 47,681 (including PRC staff and volunteers, and PADRU personnel); CHF 359 were used to cover consultant and professional feeds; workshops and trainings costs were incurred for a total of CHF 7,944.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), on behalf of the Paraguayan Red Cross, would like to express its sincere gratitude to all the partners and governments for their generous response to this Emergency Appeal: American Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross Society and the Canadian government, Finnish Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross Society, Red Cross of Monaco and Swiss Red Cross.