Description of the disaster
Starting in February 2018, a significant decrease in precipitation led to a reduction of surface and ground water in the centre and north of Uruguay. Government figures indicated that more than 11,000 people were affected by this disaster.
On 28 February 2018,the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP for its acronym in Spanish) declared a 90-day state of emergency for the departments of Artigas, Durazno, Paysandú, Rivera, Río Negro, Salto and Tacuarembó in; on March 2018, 7 more departments were included (Cerro Largo, Colonia, Flores, Florida, Rocha, Soriano and Treinta y Tres), resulting in14 of the country’s19 departments being placed under a state of emergency during the disaster.
The government’s declaration of emergency addressed the needs of small-scale cattle farmers and milk producers by permitting cattle to access areas near the routes where water accumulates and through loans to purchase animal feed from small and medium-scale producers.
The Departmental Intendancy of Tacuarembó distributed water to the families and schools affected by the water deficit during the emergency, and it made some distributions at the request of the families.
The Uruguayan National Emergency System requested support from the URC during the emergency. The URC conducted needs assessments and monitoring visits for the selection of the target population to be reached; during this process, the target communities demonstrated that they had safe water management capacities