Update on Flooding in Beni
Over the weekend we received the note below from one of our staffmembers at our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo:
I want to share a few photos of what is happening in Beni.
[Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo Engineer] Boris’s parents live in the city of Trinidad and they have made flood preparations for their house. In the last few days they have kept their things elevated two meters, no water entered their home as of yesterday, but we don’t know what could happen in the next few days.
The city of Trinidad is one of the 9 Bolivian major cities, and almost every year it’s threatened by flooding due to its lowland location. 20 years ago a ring of compacted earth was constructed around the city, and vehicles would drive on top of this asphalted ring.
Years ago, with the support of the Venezuelan government, another ring of compacted soil was also built about 5 kilometers away. The central part of the city is inside the first ring and the poorest neighborhoods are inside the second ring. Turbulent waters entered the first ring and flooded everything. The people escaped and are living on the roads above.
Yesterday, at mid-day, the waters were entering into the city over the first ring, above the asphalt. At this time everyone was trying to place more soil on top of the ring using available machines and individuals carrying soil in sacks, building up the wall, they finally were able to control the entry of water. Now the people are more calm, but no one knows… the say that a storm is coming, hopefully it can be managed.
The photos show the work that the people are doing. The ring, the surrounding waters, the cattle with just their nose in the air, people saving just a few things from their homes, the alligators next to the people, people say that many cattle have died. Misfortune has arrived and it will take many months or years for them to recover, they will lack food for their animals as well for themselves. In the photos you can see that even the fuel pump is under water, for the main airport.
Mano a Mano’s Response
The last official count we have seen is that 59,800 families have been affected, 59 people have died, and more than 100,000 cattle have died. More pictures taken over the weekend of the flooding are on our Facebook page.