Doing my part in a time of real crisis

MAJOR flooding in Peru continues, devastating many areas as 10 times more rainfall that usual hits the country.

Monday, 27th March 2017, 6:00 am

Mudslides and overflowing rivers have already killed more than 70 people across the country.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected, including staff and volunteers of non-governmental organization (NGO) WindAid Institute based in the city of Trujillo.

WindAid receives volunteers from around the world to help bring cheap, clean power to rural Peruvian communities.

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In Peru, many villages are, in actual fact, not connected to the electricity grid; this is due in large part to the fact that conditions are often ideal for small scale wind power.

Furthermore, the country is already feeling first-hand the effects of climate change – delivering low cost renewable energy is therefore an obvious solution to a rapidly growing problem.

WindAid’s national and international staff, supported by volunteers, build and install wind turbines in homes, schools, community and health centres.

Education, both of volunteers in designing and building turbines and of the communities receiving turbines, is a key goal.

While I have been volunteering with WindAid Institute, I have found myself falling in love with the incredible work that they do.

When the flooding began, it was my job to confirm that staff and volunteers were safe and to work with neighbours in Trujillo to protect homes and clean up.

However, as the rains continue in astonishing force, the accessibility of food and water is becoming a deepening concern for everyone, as transport in and out of the area is very limited – because of collapsed bridges and landslides across most of the major roads.

When flood waters do subside, WindAid will need to repair all damaged wind turbines – and is currently raising funds to accomplish this.

There are also NGOs such as SKIP (Supporting Kids in Peru – a UK NGO working in Trujillo formore than 10 years) currently working to get food and water to those most affected by the flooding.

Make no mistake, this is a terrible crisis that is unfolding in Peru, and with the loss of life, damage to livelihoods and the destruction of infrastructure across the country, it is of the upmost importance that we help however we can.

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