Monica Trujillo shows the remains of her house after it was washed away by the river. (Copyright: WFP/Gabriela Malo)
Ecuador’s National Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology announced that 2012 will be a very tough year for the country weather wise. The forecast: unusual heavy rains, especially for the coast and in provinces of the Andes, like Carchi.
The heavy rains in recent weeks are the harshest recorded in the last 30 years and as a result many provinces were declared in the state of exception.
In the provincial capital of Carchi, Tulcan, some neighborhoods have been built precariously by poor people along the banks of the Chana River –also called Tajamar. For the families living in such vulnerable condition, any change in the weather pattern represents a constant danger. Recent flooding showed how vulnerable these neighborhoods are.
For each of these families, losing their very few prized possessions is a devastating blow. In the San Pedro neighborhood, Monica Trujillo told us that she lived along the riverbank with her husband and their three children: Carlos, Marjory and Alejandro until the river washed away their home one Saturday afternoon. The magnitude of the tragedy is reflected in the eyes of Alejandro: He won’t stop crying. He sits in the midst of mud covering the spot where his house used to be and stays away from those of us bringing help to his family and the community.
Monica shows the place where her house once stood. She was still affected by the loss of her house, but receiving food rations distributed by WFP and local governments brought relief to her, her loved ones and the community of San Pedro. With food for her family, Monica hopes that the government can help her and other neighbors rebuild their houses in a safer place.