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La Niña and El Niño

What kind of damage can these weather phenomena cause in La Guajira, Colombia?
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Nov 30, 2016
It’s been two months since our last update, when we expressed concerns about the increased impact that the weather phenomena ‘La Niña’ and ‘El Niño’ might have in Colombia.

Although there had been a few scattered rainstorms, we have now started to see the full extent of the ‘La Niña’ weather pattern – intense rainfall across the region.

In this region, heavy rain can be as much a problem as the drought conditions experienced only months ago. While bringing much needed relief to parched lands, it also increases the risk of water source contamination and disease proliferation. The illnesses that so often result from these types of threats stop children from being able to attend school and keep parents from being able to work.

To further complicate the lives of the Wayúu people, weather authorities are predicting an especially harsh ‘El Niño’ period immediately following this rainy season. High winds will cause damage to infrastructure, and drought conditions will make it difficult for people to access enough water for basic daily needs like drinking, cooking and washing.

Temporary rains caused by “La Niña” weather phenomenon adds a new element to getting to isolated Wayúu communities.

Thanks to the support of people like you, in the months to come, we will continue to expand on work that has already proven to be successful. Be a part of the narrative and follow us as we continue:

  • Working with the local community to address immediate needs in the most sustainable way – We always work alongside local water committees, made up of key community members, to identify the best way to protect their vital water supply.
  • Involving women and children in educational activities around water and hygiene management – An example of this is our work with La Gloria School where we recently taught children how to build simple hand-washing devices that can be constructed anywhere.
  • Working in partnership with communities, local governments and agencies in a specified geographic area – Developing a territorial approach to our work allows us to pool the energy of various groups, and ensure that we offer the most appropriate solution for a particular region.

With your support we will help build sustainable solutions to the challenges brought about by climate change, so that access to clean and safe water is no longer at the mercy of weather conditions.

By supporting our work in Colombia, communities will be able to focus on their lessons and work, building themselves a brighter future.