27 Dec 2013

Vilcabamba Landslide

We've been watching over the last few days as the BBC have reported on the storms hitting Britain at the moment. We hope that none of you are too badly affected and that you manage to stay safe through it all.

Here in Peru we've not yet seen the massive flooding of previous years, although rainy season is only just getting underway. Despite this, last week we heard of a small community where some of our clinic patients live who have been affected by landslides caused by the rain.

It seems that as part of the government construction of a new road to Paucartambo, a load of rubble, stones and mud were dumped at the side of the road. After a period of particularly heavy rain, this was all washed down into an already overflowing river, which in turn dumped it in the 'chacras' (small fields) of a number of local farmers. This has destroyed a lot of maize which would have been ready for harvest in April, and on which many of the locals rely for their basic diet.

Vilcabamba Landslide from J Henley on Vimeo.

In theory the government should pay compensation, but as so often in Peru, persuading them to hand over the money could be easier said than done! We are keeping in contact with the community to see if or how we might be able to help out. In the meantime, please keep all those affected in your prayers. Most of them simply don't have the contingency funds to allow for setbacks like this, so the future is very uncertain.

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