Advisory: Water Contamination in Colombia

Advisory: Water Contamination in Colombia

  |   Posted: May 11, 2011   |   Updated: May 25, 2011

UPDATE: May 25, 2011 - Heavy rains led to a landslide in the impacted area of Cucuta. A pipe, which provided water from Pamplonita River to a water treatment plant, burst due to the landslide. 
The broken pipe has caused damage and more problems for this community in receiving water.

No Compassion-assisted child development centers in Cucuta have been affected by the broken pipe. As well, no Compassion-assisted children have been further affected.

All 10 of the Compassion centers that were affected by the contaminated water in Cucuta are open, and all Compassion-assisted children are attending. 

The city has been able to provide water for toilets.  The potable water that was provided by Compassion is being used for cooking.

Some areas in Cucuta are still struggling to receive clean water. These areas are only able to access clean water for a couple of hours, one day a week.

Please pray that our children, staff and their families will remain safe from infections that may result from using contaminated water. 

Compassion Colombia will keep us updated as more information is available.

Compassion International will contact you if your sponsored child has been affected.

UPDATE: May 12, 2011 (evening update) - All of the affected Compassion-assisted child development centers have resumed activities in their facilities, although some are able to be open a only several hours per day. 

The centers decided to reopen in order continue ministering to the children. However, some of the facilities are currently unable to provide food and bathrooms.

The centers have been providing water and resources to the families of the affected children: 

  • CO-660, CO-662, CO-667, CO-668, CO-669, and CO-670 have given each family 1,000 liters of drinkable water, which has been used for cooking. 

  • CO-663 has installed a water tank where the families can collect water. 

  • CO-664 has given each family 1,000 liters of drinkable water, which has been used for cooking. The center also has water available so that some children are able to take showers. 

  • CO-665 has given each family 1,000 liters of drinkable water. The center has also already given water and food to others who live in the community. 

  • CO-672 has given each family 1,000 liters of drinkable water, which has been used for cooking. The center has also been able to have water for bathrooms, due to help from the government.

UPDATE: May 12, 2011 - Since mid-April, the water sources in Cucuta, Colombia, have been contaminated due to heavy rains and flooding. 

The situation is gradually improving, but many in the community are still at risk of contracting diseases from the contaminated water.

Water trucks have been available to distribute clean water to the Compassion-assisted children at the affected child development centers. Each child is receiving around 10 liters of water. 

This distribution will continue until the floodwaters recede and the normal water supply is available again.

Here is what has been reported for each of the 10 affected Compassion-assisted centers concerning how often they are receiving water from the water trucks: 

  • CO-600 receives water twice a week. A tank and water filter are available, but the water must be boiled and contains chloral. 

  • CO-662 receives water once a week. A water filter is available, but it is necessary to boil the water. 

  • CO-633 receives a higher frequency of water.  A water filter is available, but it is necessary to boil the water. 

  • CO-664 has been without water for around 45 days. A tank, water filter and bottled water are available. 

  • CO-665 receives water once a week. A tank, water filter and bottled water are available, but it is necessary to boil the water. 

  • CO-667 receives water once a week. A water filter is available, but it is necessary to boil the water. 

  • CO-668 has been able to access water from its normal sources; however, a water filter is also available and it is necessary to boil the water. 

  • CO-669 receives water twice a week, but it contains a lot of chloral. A tank and water filter are available. 

  • CO-670 receives water once a week, but it contains a lot of chloral. A water filter is available, but it is necessary to boil the water. 

  • CO-672 receives water twice a week. A tank and water filter are available, but it is necessary to boil the water. 

May 11, 2011 - Heavy rains have caused contamination to water sources in Cucuta, Colombia. 
For the past several days, people have been unable to obtain clean water for their homes and businesses. 

The city is concerned about increased incidences of infectious diseases from contaminated water.

The entire city has been impacted, including the closure of all primary, secondary and university classes.

This sanitary situation is affecting at least 10 Compassion-assisted child development centers in Cucuta: 

  • CO-660 

  • CO-662 

  • CO-663 

  • CO-664 

  • CO-665 

  • CO-667 

  • CO-668 

  • CO-669 

  • CO-670 

  • CO-672

These centers have been closed since May 2 because there is no water for toilets and kitchens.

More than 1,500 Compassion-assisted children from these centers are affected.