The siege continues but the fightback begins
Posted by Daniel and Regiane Clark at 14:12 on 19th March 2017
The flooding across Peru has made the front page of the BBC Website! The situation is particularly desperate in cities on the Northern coast of Peru, such as Piura, Trujillo and Chiclayo and in the poorer communities which surround Lima. What has often happened is that as people have moved to Lima they have settled along the banks of the different rivers which feed into Lima, especially the Rimac river, as land there was cheap or even free. As the years have gone by without a major rain, houses have moved further inwards and often the river itself has been used to dump rubbish.Now, with the heaviest rains in the last three decades, the rivers have returned with a vengeance. Sadly, those who have very little, have suddenly found themselves losing the little that they possessed.
Nonetheless, like a boxer recovering from a series of blows, there are signs that Peruvian society is starting to respond to the situation. State help is starting to reach different areas, and both Ana’s school and the Baptist convention are setting up distribution centres for people to bring donations. Evidently the most serious issue is what happens after the disaster is over because simply to return to the previous situation, while in itself a challenge, is hardly ideal, as many of these communities are vulnerable to other natural disasters, especially earthquakes which are always a concern in Peru.
That is where BMS has already been ahead of the game as last year in partnership with the social action department of the Baptist convention nearly a 100 homes in Piura received support to become more resilient against natural disasters, both through training courses and the strengthening of the roofs of their homes.
Personally, we continue to be inconvenienced rather than suffering from the disaster. Ana is now off school until Wednesday and I am unsure what is happening with regards to seminary classes. Water supply has returned which is a relief as there is no bottled water to be found in Lima and fortunately we have not had to raid our emergency pack, which is really for earthquakes. The most difficult part is having to see the impact on people that we know, one of our students at the seminary provides daily updates on how high the water is in relation to his house.
Once again we value all your prayers.