Peru floods leave farmers wondering what's next

Imagine you are cooking on your farm one morning and you hear a sound. And without knowing how, you automatically know that a flood is coming – and that you have just moments to escape.
That’s the situation Santos Rodriguez and her family faced after torrential rains led to flooding and landslides in their community in the Trujillo region of Peru.

As the 54 year-old mother of five surveys the now barren patch of land that used to be her household garden, she tells our partner staff her family has lived in this community for 10 years. They grew vegetables to eat and sell in the market. Now she’s not sure what they will do.

“We are left with nothing,” she says. “We will not able to rebuild our house here because it is not safe. And now we have nowhere to plant.”

Flooding and mudslides came quickly, brought massive destruction

Santos Rodriguez stands in rubble created by flooding and mudslides in Peru.

The flooding is a result of a strong, local El Niño that formed off the coast of Peru following an abrupt increase in the surface temperature of the ocean. The pattern’s torrential rains have caused flooding and devastation across most of the country, with States of Emergency declared in 17 of the country’s 25 regions.

The relentless water and mud, carrying dangerous debris, have destroyed roads, bridges, businesses, homes and farmland, leaving families without sources of food and income. Sanitation is also a big concern, as is the potential spread of the Zika virus. Access to potable water, even in the city of Lima, is scarce and reaching communities – especially rural communities – is difficult because of damage to bridges and roads.

In Trujillo, where Lutheran World Relief is responding, much of the city is closed and its water supply is badly damaged, affecting families’ access to fresh water, as well as farmland irrigation.

Your support is making a difference

A family affected by the flooding in Peru receives diapers and hygiene kits.

When you support Lutheran World Relief with a financial gift, you make it possible for us to act quickly when disaster, such as floods and mudslides, strike.

With your help, we are responding in Trujillo, where we will work with local partners to:

  • Distributing cash transfers to heavily affected families, so that they can meet their most immediate needs.
  • Train community members in health and hygiene practices and how to use motorized pumps to drain water. This will help preserve health in this flood area, which is at risk to vector-borne diseases.
  • Provide psycho-social support to families to cope with their losses, so that they can begin to move their lives forward.

Looking to the future, we will stay with the people of Peru, helping them rise out of poverty as they work to recover from this disaster. We’ll focus our efforts on helping poor, rural communities improve their livelihoods so they can become self-sufficient.

We give special thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundatin, TCHO Chocolate, and International Relief Team for their support of our response. And we give thanks to you, our faithful supporters, who make it possible to remain on the ground in places like Peru, helping families transition from survival to stability.

Ways to help

LWR is distributing tents to affected families.

Your gift to the Peru Flooding and Mudslides fund will help LWR continue helping families recover from this disaster, while working to lift themselves out of poverty. Please give generously!