All Hands Volunteers Launches Peru Flood Response Program
All Hands Volunteers launched a Peru Flood Response program on March 29th after receiving reports of widespread damage and need for assistance. Over 950,000 people have been impacted by this devastating flooding, with 101 lives lost.
Peru has suffered from continued rainfall since December 2016 and the flooding is expected to continue for weeks to come. February brought an increase in the intensity of rainfall leading to landslides, floods, flash floods, and mud flows in 24 of the 25 affected regions. Northern Peru is hardest hit at the moment and All Hands is taking a two-pronged approach to meet as many of the tremendous needs as possible; managing the Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) in Piura while simultaneously working to get children back to school in Huarmey by building temporary learning centers.
Huarmey, the capital of the province Huarmey, is 300km north of Lima. Over 1,000 children have been displaced from their schools by flooding and mud, and the team has identified a solution to this growing problem. All Hands will construct 15 temporary learning centers to host the 1,100 children that are unable to return to school at the moment. All Hands will also construct an additional three temporary learning centers to host the 70 disabled children that go to school in the area. By constructing these centers the children and their families will be able to regain some normalcy by providing a place for children to learn and play, reducing the effects of trauma that a disaster can bring. With children safely looked after, parents will be able to focus on the recovery process at home and return to work when possible.
As the flooding in Peru continues to worsen, an overwhelming number of volunteers presented themselves as available to assist, with the Peruvian Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP) at the helm of volunteer coordination efforts. At the request of CARE Perú and with their support and that of private companies, All Hands Volunteers mobilized their coordination team and, through MIMP, set up a Volunteer Coordination Center in the badly affected city of Piura. Here, All Hands is coordinating spontaneous volunteers, setting them to work in the affected areas while simultaneously training team leaders and local organizations in the art of volunteer coordination.
The teams on the ground continue to monitor the situation day by day. The hope in the coming months is to secure funding and volunteers in order to launch a school rebuild program in Huarmey. The situation is still very active and Peru is preparing for the damage still to come. If you would like to learn more about All Hands’ efforts in Peru please visit www.hands.org/projects/perufloodresponse/.