Colombia is not ready to face the upcoming rainy season as the country’s infrastructure has not been properly reinforced after the last rainy season’s devastating floods, said the Colombian Federation of Municipalities Sunday.
“We cannot delude ourselves. What was done with the allocated resources from Colombia Humanitaria in many cases helped repair the damages caused by last winter’s wave, but that does not mean that with the works that are advancing or that have been executed will prevent again the winter that is approaching,” warned Gilberto Toro, the executive director of Fedemunicios.
Caracol Radio reported that Toro contested President Juan Manuel Santos‘ claims that Colombia Humanitaria had been slow and inefficient in allocating resources in the aftermath of last winter’s floods.
“Many [mayors] are complaining that Colombia Humanitaria has not had the resources nor the flexibility to approve others, so there is no coherence between the willingness and the desire of the mayors and the complaint of the president,” explained the director. He pleaded with Santos to provide an immediate solution to minimize the damages of the new potential floods.
Other media reported that nine departments have already raised their alert level to “orange” in response to mounting concern about the lack of preparation for new rains. The director of Risk Management in the Interior Ministry also asked for help from the Colombian president.
According to the director, the Colombian Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Studies “predicts above normal rainfall due to the cooling of the Pacific Ocean, generating climate variability and obviously the phenomenon of La Niña.”
A recent government report found that last year’s floods left more than 2.3 million people homeless and destroyed or damaged nearly 900,000 homes.
Rains have begun to fall in some regions of the country and are expected to intensify in the middle of September when the second rainy season of the year is supposed to begin.