Thousands still homeless two months after floods in Ecuador

“Our priority now is the restoration of water installations to improve hygiene and avoid the spread of killer diseases”
Céline Gagne
Oxfam
Published: 2 May 2008

Two months since President Correa declared a national emergency in Ecuador following floods that affected large parts of the country, nearly 10,000 people remain homeless and hundreds of thousands more have limited access to clean water, said international agency Oxfam.

In February floods forced 250,000 people living in rural areas from their homes. Since then most people have been able to return home only to face new challenges including contaminated water wells, destroyed or damaged sewerage systems as well as a lack of clean water for drinking, washing and cooking.

"Oxfam has assisted 24,000 people with water and sanitation since the floods," said Oxfam International's Céline Gagne. "But our priority now is the restoration of water installations to improve hygiene and avoid the spread of killer diseases," said Gagne.

Oxfam was among the first humanitarian agencies to respond to the needs of the people affected by the Ecuador floods. Our initial emergency assistance included distribution of hygiene kits to people evacuated from their homes in Los Ríos and Guaya provinces.

Since then Oxfam has reached over 24,000 people in the relief and recovery operation with:

  • the distribution of over 1,400 hygiene kits to people evacuated from their homes in 52 shelters
  • the rehabilitation of 10 flood damaged water and drainage systems, installation of 13 latrines and 2 shower systems at the shelters the distribution of 69 water bins of 20 liters to store drinkable water.

Meanwhile with support from the European Commission, Oxfam has started to roll out a campaign of health and hygiene promotion aimed at reaching 686 families living in the flood affected provinces. And this week the agency will start to support livelihoods regeneration in four areas of the Los Ríos and Guayas provinces where rains affected 137,315 hectares of agricultural land and completely destroyed another 85,710.

"We are going to distribute funds to be exchanged for farming products to the most vulnerable rural communities to help them get back on their feet quickly and to guarantee their economic recovery," Gagne said.  

Media Material Available: Photos

 

Contact Information

For more information please contact:
Intermón Oxfam – Press office
In Spain: Irina Fuhrmann,
Tel: +91 204 67 20/615 359 401
ifuhrmann@intermonoxfam.org

In Ecuador: Susana Arroyo
Tel: +5932 2256272/+59392095996 sarroyo@intermonoxfam.org