Bolivia: drought hits campesinos hard

About 20,000 peasant families in La Paz department have been affected by drought for months, the Bolivian Information Agency reports. If there is no rain in the next 30 days, there will be a massive loss of livestock, warned Victor Saravia of Bolivia’s Early Warning and Risk Prevention Bureau. “We traveled to four regions: Camacho, Ingavi, Pacajes and Loayza, and found that there is a shortage of water for both human consumption and for animals’,” said Saravia. He also named Ixiamas district in the north of La Paz as at risk, saying that 6,000 head of cattle could die in the department in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, hailstorms have wiped out crops in lowland Cochabamba department. Civil defense authorities are considering declaration of a state of emergency. (Xinhua, Dec. 8; Prensa Latina, Dec. 5)

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