Communities Ravaged by Climate Change
October 21, 2011
“It’s like the war,” a young resident of Nueva Esperanza shares. “People will return to their communities with absolutely nothing. They’ll have to start over, just like when they came from Honduras.”In Central American, the October 2011 rains have taken the lives of 123, caused over a million people to evacuate, and destroyed homes, highways and extensive areas of crops and agriculture.
Assessing the Damage, Water Prevents Return Home
As the height of the emergency passes, the reconstruction begins. The first step is to assess damages to homes, infrastructure, crops and livestock. After a visit yesterday to the region, President Funes estimated that 70% of crops have been lost in El Salvador.
People will not know the extent of the damage until they are able to return to their communities, visit their fields, and find what livestock survived. As the water levels lowered on Thursday, the first people began to visit their communities to do asses the damage. In San Marcos Lempa, over 30 communities have lost water connection, making the task of removing mud from walls and floors impossible, and a return home still out of the question.
In San Carlos Lempa, the area closest to the coast remains flooded; communities like Rancho Grande, Taura, El Coyol and La Sabana are still under a few feet of water. Esmeralda Villalta, CRIPDES San Vicente Coordinator, reports that homes have been lost to the storm. Most people will have to stay in crowded, under-stocked emergency shelters until the water recedes.
The Mujeres Ganaderas report that in addition to crops and cattle, many of the supplies at their office and store were lost as the waters quickly rose over the weekend of October 15th and 16th. With many people evacuated and those that remained trying to prepare their homes, Mugan President Santana and others were only able to carry some of their goods up to the second story.
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