The hurricane season and heavy rainfall has hit the municipality of Uribia in La Guajira. The region has been plagued by extreme weather conditions for a month. This remote area is home to the Wayuu, an indigenous group that has long suffered from food shortages due to lack of infrastructure and climate change. The floods cut off as many as 31,997 households (159,145 people) in 383 Wayuu indigenous communities from access to food, drinking water and other essential resources.
Emergency aid by ship in Colombia after floods
Northern Colombia has been hit by flooding. That is why ZOA, together with partners, immediately started providing emergency aid to residents in the affected areas.
HURRICANE SEASON AND HEAVY RAINFALL
Emergency aid in Colombia
Northern Colombia has been hit by floods. Because of this, 383 communities in the La Guajira region, where ZOA works, no longer have access to food and other essential food items. That is why ZOA, together with partners, immediately started providing emergency aid to residents in the affected areas. More than 5,000 food packages, hygiene kits and fuel jerry cans were distributed by ship.
The desert area of La Guajira is difficult to cross and some areas have now become inaccessible due to the flooding. The only way to access the affected areas is by boat. To reach the communities in the region with humanitarian aid, a large specialized Colombian naval vessel is therefore used. This can dock at the three strategic ports of Bahía Honda, Puerto Estrella and Puerto Lopez.
Because of ZOA's expertise in providing emergency aid, the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) has asked ZOA to lead the distribution of food parcels and other essential items. On October 22, an experienced ZOA team, with the logistical support of the Colombian army and navy, set out on a 15-day distribution of 5,049 food packages, water, hygiene kits, hammocks and sheets. 300 liters of fuel is also provided to help communities receive and distribute the goods.
La Guajira, Colombia's northernmost department, borders directly on Venezuela and is home to more than 150,000 refugees and migrants from the neighboring country. It is one of the driest and hottest areas in Colombia and is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
The Wayuu is facing chronic food and water shortages due to a mix of factors such as lack of infrastructure, socio-economic challenges, cultural rights and climate change. In response to the chronic food shortage, ZOA receives and packages 325 metric tons of food per month from the WFP for distribution to 19,000 people in 180 different communities near the current emergency relief project.