Colombia’s Housing Minister has announced plans to invest more than $50 million in water infrastructure and basic sanitation in the drought-stricken state of La Guajira according to reports on Thursday.
The new investment from the ministry will go towards aqueducts and sewers in several municipalities throughout the northeastern desert region, which has been experiencing acute water shortages for several months according to wire service EFE.
Last month, protesters in La Guajira clashed with National Police as they demanded a dialogue with President Santos to request relief and a general improvement in infrastructure and economic aid.
Much of the local economy and food security rests on agriculture and cattle ranching, both of which have been hit hard by the drought.
These problems are expected to be exacerbated in the coming months as the weather phenomenon known as El Niño begins affecting these communities.
A decrease in crop yields, increased incidences of sickness among animals and humans alike, and infrastructural damage are among the expected consequences of El Niño.