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Help needed for those affected by the dam tragedy in Colombia

26 May 2018 Topics:
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Urgent help needed for those affected by the dam tragedy in Colombia

The Hidroituango, hydroelectric project in the department of Antioquia is the largest infrastructure currently running in the country. Since April 28, technical failures have occurred for the plugging of the Cauca river tunnel, which has generated an emergency due to the overflowing of the river, putting at risk the lives, houses, livelihoods and work of thousands of families.

On May 16, the powerhouse dam, in trying to evacuate the accumulated water, collapsed, causing a catastrophe that could become the most serious for this Latin American country in ecological and social terms.

The aforementioned conditions have led to the evacuation of 25,985 people downstream of the works involved; more than several thousand  are in unsafe shelters, with shortages of food and medicines and at least 12 riverside villages are on alert for floods and avalanches, products of the damming of the Cauca River. The manager of Empresas Públicas de Medellín -EPM- company that executes the project, talks about 120 thousand potential affected downstream. This is only referring to the humanitarian impacts.

As of May  24,   26000 people  were evacuated from Cauca River Valley and many suffer without shelter and food,  construction workers managed to raise the dam wall over spillway reducing risk of immediate collapse, machine chamber was flooded and equipments likely damaged, several rating agencies have already downgraded EPM company, which also faces corruption  and negligence charges from Colombian  prosecutors.

Given that the threat of collapse was postponed, the EPM company and authorities are likely again downplay and disregard  humanitarian and human-rights problems created by the crisis. Therefore locals can  only rely on their own capabilities and  international solidarity.

Ríos Vivos Colombia Movement  which represents local dam victims issued global pledge for donations to support emergency efforts.

The atmosphere in the region is one of fear, discouragement and despair. At this moment, national and international solidarity is urgently needed for communities that have lost their livelihoods and relationships with the environment. We urgently call all to join the voices that demand to know those responsible and the actors involved in this tragedy; we call with utmost urgency as well, emergency forms of support for the affected families, who now require immediate measures to solve the most pressing needs. For this reason, we appeal to everyone’s humanity and solidarity to urgently give donations from outside Colombia. You may deposit your donation as follow:

In light of the ongoing emergency in Colombia, we are using this GFC bank account to accept donations for the emergency efforts.

Donation packages

One time donation
You can transfer a donation to Global Forest Coalition’s account in Amsterdam. Here is the account details:
Bank Name: Triodos Bank Nederland
Utrechtseweg 44, 3704 HD Zeist
Postbus 55 , 3700 AB Zeist
IBAN: NL75 TRIO 0390 9649 48
Swift: TRIONL2U

You should state that you are transferring a “donation for Colombia.”

Online donation
You can also donate securely online by using our online donation form via iDeal, credit card, check, PayPal, or one-time authorization. The connection is secure and your data cannot be read by third parties. This is made possible by http://www.allegoededoelen.nl.

Regular donation
You can also authorize us to further notice, to transfer a regular amount from your account. Please complete our form to the Global Forest Coalition. Your gift is tax deductible, because the Global Forest Coalition is a foundation with a ‘tax approved ideal goal’ under Dutch law.

For more information about donation opportunities please contact the GFC Secretariat, at info@globalforestcoalition.org.

As of May 25 2018, the EPM managed

We greatly appreciate any amount you can afford to give. With your support we can achieve more!

Source: Rios Vivos  Colombia with RwB updates

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