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Guatemala: A Community Prevents the Next Flood

Guatemala: A Community Preventing the Next Flood 1

The overflow of the Rio La Paz located in the Municipality of Moyuta, Jutiapa, 121 kilometers from the capital city, caused serious damage to the communities of El Naranjo, Los Angeles, El Salamar, and El Arenal due to heavy rainfall brought by Tropical Depression 12E in October last year.

 
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More than 30,000 families living in this area suffered losses in their crops, serious damage to the infrastructure of their communities and homes, wagons and bridges.

Guatemala: A Community Preventing the Next Flood 3

 Abel Ramos explains how the overflow of the river affects their community.

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A total of 385 families in four communities, in collaboration with the Municipal Government, Action Against Hunger and the World Food Programme, have been working on building a dam of 900 meters long, 4 meters high, 14 meters wide and a profile of 7 meters which serve for protection in case of overflow of Rio La Paz.

 
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"This whole area was full of trees such as cedars and conacastes and now that has changed. There was a natural dam, but the winds and logging destroyed it. Hope this new dam will protect us during this new winter season," says Juan Manuel Escobar, a community leader in El Arenal.

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The communities have worked with wood, planting grass and a diverse workforce.

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The families in these communities receive WFP assistance in the form of food for recovery and creation of assets such as agricultural modules, home gardens, composting, sanitation activities and rehabilitation of wells.

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"When the river is full, we expect a disaster. We believe this dam will work. What little we have we give it pure heart," said Edy DueƱas (left), a project participant.

Due to heavy rain fall the communities of El Naranjo, Los Angeles, and El Arenal experienced flooding. These floods destroyed homes, crops, and agriculture. The people of the community, with the support of the Municipal Government, Action Against Hunger and WFP, is building a dam to protect their homes and prevent future flooding.