Colombia’s cattle rancher’s association has asked the Colombian government to take action after a prolonged drought has hit Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, local media reports.
FEDEGAN has asked for the government to declare an environmental and social emergency as a result of a drought throughout the country caused by El Niño.
The drought has especially affected the agricultural industry, as FEDEGAN, the National Federation of Cattle Ranchers, requested that the government take action after the death of over 35,000 heads of cattle.
The weather phenomenon El Niño is responsible for the drought on the Caribbean coast, as well as high temperatures in the central Colombian states of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio, Tolima and Huila that have caused forest fires, according to national radio RCN.
Cesar Garcia, sub-director of science and technology at FEDEGAN stated, “the situation is very difficult in the states of Guajira, Atlantico, Bolivar, Magdalena, Sucre, Cordoba since there has not been sufficient rain in the first half of the year, now there is neither quantity of rain, or quality of crops for cattle.”
The issue is not a new one, as President Juan Manuel Santos met with mayors affected by the same drought in April to discuss potential plans of action.
The government has responded by imposing sanctions on those who waste water in the affected states, and is in the process of providing nourishment for the animals in the middle of the drought.