Since mid-March, the northern regions of Peru, Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Ancash and Lima have been affected by heavy rains. These rains are due to the climate phenomenon “El Niño Costero,” which is characterized by high temperatures, coming from the Pacific Ocean off the northwestern coast of Peru. From the evening of Wednesday March 22nd to Thursday March 23rd, the country experienced the longest and most intense rains in 34 years. This was followed by even greater rains from Sunday March 26th to Monday March 27th.
The damages caused by these rains have been surveyed by various entities, including the National Banana Board, the Irrigation User Board and the Agrarian Agency of Chira of the Regional Directorate of Agriculture in Piura. The latter made the following statements regarding the specific damages to the banana sector:
- 100 hectares flooded (at risk of permanent loss if waters are not cleared in 72 hours). The government is looking for ways to import motor pumps to clear water as quickly as possible.
- 1,000 hectares affected (although not completely submerged by water, could face serious damages).
- 297 kilometers of roads and trails blocked, making it impossible to harvest, pack, process and transport bananas. The government machinery is insufficient and does not operate in high waters.
- 70 hectares flattened and eroded by river waters.
Alarmingly, the forecast for this week is calling for even stronger and longer-lasting rainfall. For now, government entities are evacuating populations, providing shelters and tents, and delivering food and water by boat. In the most affected region, Piura, the regional government reported on March 27th that 35,000 individuals have been affected and 10,000 more evacuated. The rains are expected to continue until mid-April.
Unfortunately, in Piura, 35 Fairtrade banana organizations have been affected by the rains and flooding, representing a total of 7,000 small producer families. The organizations are located in the Chira Valley. The president of the National Banana Board and substitute member of CLAC’s Oversight Committee, Mr. Valetín Ruiz Delgado, said that “rains can affect the banana sector in several ways, as they cause soil erosion, flooding on plantations, as well as damage to roads, preventing the passage of vehicles to transport fruit from the field.”
CLAC would like to take this opportunity to express our solidarity with all small producer organizations and people affected by the damages caused by the heavy rains and flooding. In addition, we want to call on all people and organizations that wish to support in this difficult time, in which producers are again affected by the impacts of the changing climate. Support for affected organizations will be channeled through the National Fair Trade Coordinator in Peru. Bank account details and more information can be found below.
BANCO CONTINENTAL – BBVA – Agencia Arenales – Cercado de Lima
Número de Cuenta Corriente Dólares: 0011 0147 0100070200 69
Código Interbancario: 011 147 000100070200 69
Nombre de la Cuenta: Coordinadora Nacional de Pequeños Productores de Comercio Justo – CNCJ – PERU.
RUC CNCJ – PERU: 20515109847
Dirección: Jr. Ramón Dagnino N° 369 – Jesús María – Lima – Perú
Código Swift: BCONPEPL