March 2 2011

Landslides in Bolivia: SOS Children's Villages to help children and families

02/03/2011 - After landslides destroyed some 400 homes and left over 5000 people and 800 families homeless, SOS Children's Villages reacts to help children and their families. Three SOS community centres were also damaged.

Photo: Fernando Espinoza
After weeks of rain, entire slopes could no longer support their own weight - Photo: F. Espinoza
Several weeks of heavy rain have caused massive landslides in Bolivia. While few casualties or injuries have been reported, some 400 homes total were razed by the avalanches of heavy mud and detritus in several residential areas of the capital La Paz. Estimates suggest that some 5000 people may now be home- and pennyless.

Photo: Fernando Espinoza
Whole neighbourhoods were wiped out; the full extent of damages is unclear - Photo: F. Espinoza
A preliminary report on the situation revealed that no children supported by SOS Children's Villages' programmes or their families were injured. However, three of the SOS community centres in the areas of Valle de las Flores, Kupini Second, and Jokoni have reported damages.


Photo: Fernando Espinoza
SOS Children's Villages is preparing measures to ensure the safety of children and their families - Photo: F. Espinoza
The exact extent of damages is still being assessed, but preparations for a detailed plan of emergency relief measures are under way. It is clear, however, that an early intervention is crucial in situations like these to ensure that children and their families are not affected by malnutrition or exposure. For several days now, SOS Children's Villages has been working closely with government agencies and NGOs that address children's issues to ensure that affected children are identified and given adequate care as soon as possible.