On the night of September 27, heavy rains poured onto Alta Verapaz in the Polochic River Basin, where several Heifer Guatemala projects live. In the Pantic, Tamahú and Alta Verapaz communities there were floods and mudslides that affected 200 people. Two are deceased and 8 are still missing.
These events initiated coordination between project partners to monitor and respond to the emergency with search and rescue efforts, as well as distribution of food and water to community members and emergency responders.
In the following days, our local partners requested support from Heifer Guatemala to provide mattresses for the victims who were in the shelter. 153 mattresses were delivered where 227 people affected were sheltered.
Thanks to the constant training of local coordinators, two levels of emergency response were demonstrated: to communities and municipalities with direct coverage and to communities and municipalities close to the emergency response agency, CONRED, due to the close relationship which has been built since the beginning of the project.
Gustavo Hernández, National Director, says, "We sympathize with the families affected by this tragedy and at the same time urge the Tamahú municipality and other public and private bodies to work together to mitigate these situations and take the necessary prevention measures. We thank the MAC Foundation and Heifer International for the Rise Up 2 project as this tragic event has confirmed the importance of supporting the organization, training and equipment of communities and municipalities for risk management.”
At the same time, Salvador Casado, Risk Management Officer, commented, "We have coordinated with the departmental delegation of CONRED and COMRED of Tamahú and added an effort with partners for damage assessment, information management and management and delivery of resources for humanitarian aid to the victims of the Pantic community, Tamahú. At the moment we have delivered 153 mattresses for people who are sheltered and now we continue to monitor the events and possible damage caused by the floods. "