Juan Chive Chore, 86, received seeds for peanuts and beans that he will sow on his soil.
Foto: Lea Pascal
Bolivia has been through a turbulent time with fierce forest fires, political upheavals and exceptional states. In spite of this, our partners and the locals in the area have worked diligently and completed several of the phases and activities of the DERF project. Representatives from DIB's Bolivia Group were on a visit to oversee our relief efforts before COVID-19 closed the country.
DIB has broken new ground in Bolivia. For the first time, together with our local partner Teko Kavi, we are launching a relief effort in the country where DIB has worked since 1989.
The humanitarian effort has so far supported 15 communities in San Antonio de Lomerío, which was severely affected by forest fires in the latter half of 2019. The effort has supported first aid and medicine, food seeds and a sanitation campaign to fight viruses such as dengue and improved hygiene and health.
The work of carrying out activities has suffered severely, first because of impassable roads in the rainy season, then a political chaos in the wake of the October 20, 2019 presidential election, which characterized the entire country and hampered access to the area, and now Bolivia is due to COVID- 19 completely closed down: There is a curfew and all transport is paralyzed.
INSPECTION VISIT AND THE MEETING WITH THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE NUMBERS
Inden COVID-19-situationen eskalerede, var Lea og Simon fra DIB på tilsynsrejse i Lomerío. Turen startede ud fra storbyen Santa Cruz de la Sierra for at køre den ca. 6 timer lange tur til Lomerío, hvor de mødte de mennesker, som den humanitære indsats blev sat i gang for at hjælpe.
Together with local technicians Teresa and Marcelino and Jaime from Teko Kavi, Lea and Simon visited a number of villages and interviewed a diverse group of beneficiaries. They have been able to see that the effort has helped many people with what they need and that people who have received support have been involved in the whole process from the start.
At the same time, Marcelo and Teresa were given seeds for people's own food production and for animal feed. The residents have themselves identified what specific seeds they would like, and no one has asked for more than they needed.
CLIMATE CHANGE, WATER AND HEALTH
In the interviews with the locals, the pervasive themes were lack of clean drinking water, control of viruses spread through prickly insects and climate change's impact on rainfall, temperatures, seasons and thus food production.
Lomerío har kun ét sundhedscenter, som ligger i hovedbyen San Antonio. Derfor er det vigtigt, at der bl.a. bliver fokuseret på at skabe en ren, bæredygtig drikkevandskilde til befolkningen, så de undgår maveproblemer og ikke skal forbi lægen. Dette er næste fase af vores nødhjælpsindsats, nemlig at få installeret ny vandpumper i landsbyerne. Desværre står dette arbejde stille lige nu pga. COVID-19.
En af de helt store sundhedsmæssige udfordringer generelt i Bolivia lige nu er zoonoser, sygdomme spredt gennem stikkende insekter, f.eks. vira som dengue, chikungunya og zika. Derfor har en del af den sundhedsmæssige indsats i DERF’en også været sprøjtning for myg og andre stikkende insekter samt en hygiejnekampagne i folks hjem. Dette har reduceret mængden af virussmittede og dermed også lettet presset på sundhedscenteret.
BACKGROUND OF THE HUMANITARIAN ACT
DIB and Teko Kavi sought and obtained funding from the CISU's Emergency Relief Fund (DERF) in October 2019 to combat, mitigate and prevent the consequences of the wildfires in eastern Bolivia. Our efforts provide humanitarian assistance and support to 15 communities in the form of rehabilitation of water sources, ensuring access to health care and preventing disease and psychosocial support, re-establishing agricultural production systems and building the local fire extinguishing and prevention capacity. In late March, the CISU project provided a no-cost extension of 3 months due to COVID-19.