BOGOTA – At least 54,000 people have been affected by the heavy rainfall afflicting parts of six Colombian provinces over the past few weeks, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday during a visit to one of the hardest-hit areas.
“This is the initial assessment by the disaster prevention and assistance office,” he told reporters in Puerto Carreño, capital of the eastern province of Vichada.
The resulting floods have forced thousands out of their homes, causing them to loose their crops, livestock and belongings.
President Duque assessed the flooded streets of Carreño – home to more than 15,000 people – aboard a boat and said that Education Minister Maria Victoria Angulo is heading a program to “recover at least an important part” of the flooded schools.
“We will work with both the Department of Social Prosperity (DPS) and the Health Ministry in terms of basic assistance,” the president said. “I hope we can release those funds.”
The government’s goal is to “very quickly” give out 100 percent of the humanitarian aid to start a reconstruction stage, which “can only be provided once the waters have receded.”
Duque said that his administration will continue providing basic aid while a comprehensive reconstruction of housing and infrastructure gets under way.