Paraguay battles drought in Chaco and floods in the Eastern Region

November 22, 2023

A dual climate crisis in Paraguay

As the climate phenomenon “El Niño” intensifies, Paraguay faces a stark contrast in climate-related challenges.

The western region, particularly the Chaco area, is grappling with severe drought, while the eastern region is experiencing inundations​​.

Efforts to alleviate impact

To counter these challenges, various measures are being implemented. In San Cosme and Damián, essential supplies are being delivered to families affected by the weather, ensuring their safety and ability to rebuild their homes​​.

In Pilar, water removal operations are underway using motor pumps to drain accumulated water due to flooding​​.

Training and humanitarian aid

The National Emergency Secretariat (SEN) has successfully concluded a Forest Firefighter Course for military personnel, enhancing their capability to manage such crises​​.

Additionally, humanitarian aid is being provided in various regions.

In San Pedro, construction supplies are being distributed to families who lost their homes due to fire or climatic events.

The government’s efforts are evident in Itapúa, Paraguarí, and Amambay, where essential materials like zinc sheets are being provided to rebuild homes​​.

Water distribution in drought-affected areas

A significant focus is on supplying water to drought-stricken areas in the Chaco.

Over 27 million liters of water have been distributed since August, with plans to increase the frequency of water delivery​​​​.

The SEN, along with various partners, is coordinating efforts to tackle the water scarcity issue in these regions​​.

Mosquito breeding sites and risk management

In Asunción, efforts are being made to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, a vital step in preventing diseases like Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya.

This is part of a broader approach to managing the drought’s impact in the Chaco, with collaborations from organizations like USAID and ADRA Paraguay​​.

Proactive measures against climatic emergencies

The SEN is actively researching and devising action protocols in collaboration with local governments and municipalities.

These measures aim to anticipate, mitigate, and provide effective responses to climatic emergencies, thereby strengthening overall risk management​​.

Food security and rebuilding efforts

The government’s commitment to ensuring food security is evident in their distribution of food kits to families in areas like Loma Plata, Boquerón, and various indigenous communities affected by the drought​​.

Efforts to rebuild and provide temporary shelters are ongoing in regions like Saltos del Guairá and San Pedro, where the government is distributing essential materials and setting up temporary accommodations​​​​.

FSJA Comment

The situation in Paraguay, with its dichotomy of drought in the Chaco and floods in the eastern region, highlights the complex and multifaceted nature of climate change impacts.

The government’s multifaceted response, including water distribution, training programs, and humanitarian aid, underlines the necessity of comprehensive and coordinated efforts in tackling such environmental challenges.

These efforts address immediate needs but also contribute to longer-term resilience building against similar future crises.

The proactive approach in anticipating and managing these climatic variances is commendable.

It reflects a growing awareness and readiness to tackle the unpredictable and often severe consequences of climate change.

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