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ShelterBox Responds to Flooding in Peru

April 7, 2017

We currently have a ShelterBox team in Peru, assessing the situation following extreme flooding. The country has seen above average…

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SYRIA Chemical incident – ShelterBox partners in Khan Sheikhoun fear more attacks, and for the safety of their team

April 6, 2017

‘Hand in Hand for Syria’ is the London-based charity that has worked for years with ShelterBox taking aid to families…

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Colombia landslides – ShelterBox has aid in-country and a team in neighbouring Peru

April 3, 2017

As the flood-stricken Colombian city of Mocoa counts its dead and searches for hundreds missing after frightening mudslides, UK disaster…

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ShelterBox Responds to Flooding in Peru

ShelterBox Responds to Flooding in Peru

We currently have a ShelterBox team in Peru, assessing the situation following extreme flooding.

The country has seen above average rainfall since December 2016, which has caused flooding and landslides in 24 of the country’s regions. Over 600,000 people have been affected, with families losing their homes and livelihoods.

The main affected areas are still neck-high deep in water, but our initial assessments are underway.

“Houses are full of the thick mud. Many houses built from less substantial materials have simply been destroyed.”

Tim Vile – Response Team Member


A RESPONSE TEAM MEMBER’S POINT OF VIEW


Tim Vile shares his reflections on visiting some of the worst affected areas.

We flew 600 miles north of the Peruvian capital, Lima, to reach the flooded area.

The small town of Catacaos is very close to the river and has been flooded by about a metre of water several times now. The low lying flat land means the water doesn’t run off easily and the strong sun has turned dirt roads into muddy quagmires.

Houses are also full of the thick mud. Many houses built from less substantial materials have simply been destroyed.

We saw people still very much in the early effects of a disaster. None of the hustle of usual daily life. There is a pervasive smell of congealing river mud and stagnant water.

The only dry area is the embanked main road. I met a family who are living on the verge, which is only about 2 metres wide at best. Without shelter from the sun or rain they try to live, eat and sleep on this narrow strip sandwiched between busy traffic and stagnant, stinking water. They have had to kill two snakes so far and feared there would be more. With genuine tears they told me they had not had drinking water for some days but the tankers were now starting to deliver.

We also assessed a rural area called San Pablo where some Peruvian Civil Defence emergency tents are being deployed. People here are mostly farmers who have had their homes and crops destroyed by the water surges. More people are arriving everyday, walking across the fields to seek help.

As a person who spent over 34 years in the Fire Service, I encountered people in crisis many times. But I still find the imploring looks of desperate people the strongest motivator to continue volunteering for ShelterBox.’