Friday, February 12, 2010

Communities Lose 100% of Crops to Drought

While much of the country is struggling under punishing rains and flooding, three communities in the departments of Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz are facing a loss of 100% of this season´s crops due to drought.

Monteagudo, Macharetí, and Huacareta have received little or no rain in the past three months and villagers have been forced to search for alternatives to the annual harvest. Natalio Reyes, a farmer in Huacareta, explained that, "We have looked for other ways to sustain ourselves this year...We have completely lost this year´s production, this year we´re not going to have corn."

In addition to the loss of crops, area residents also face bankrupcies and springs run dry. Community groups have petitioned local governments and agencies to help families hurting in the drought. The Guaraní and farming communities in the region do not receive assistance from the national Civil Defense, leaving assistance responsibility to the departmental governments . Ironically, resources that could normally help families in extreme drought are currently supporting people suffering from widespread flooding, an equally destructive problem on the other end of the natural disaster spectrum.

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