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CVKC, Colombia, dig, digging machine, environment, excavator, land, man, nature, river, sand, scenery, water
09 September 17 @ 20:59
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Rev Apoloniar Escobar, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, lives in Carepa, Urabá. I’ve been working as a pastor for four years here. The issue of water is complicated. Sometimes there’s too much, sometimes not enough. We have water from pipes, but it’s not clean enough for human consumption, we’ve had health problems here. We’ve had people killed here, and thrown into the reservoir that the water comes from. Some people have bought filters, others buy purified water from the shops so they can drink. Some people have a well, some collected rainwater.
This river is seriously deteriorating. When the water rises, with heavy rainfall, we have many houses here in high risk of flooding or being washed away. Some people have to leave their houses to save their lives, sometimes in the middle of night. Sometimes they lose their furniture, and we’ve helped them, as the church. When the river begins to grow, it’s hard for people to sleep at night, waiting to see if there’s a flood, or if the houses are going to be washed away. The people on the edge of the river, during the winter, they have problems. The river water is so dirty, that if people wash in it, afterwards they have to wash off the river water. In the summer, the water is low in the river and in the reservoir, so we have little water, it’s rationed, or sometimes the municipality has to take a tanker of water around to the houses.
At the moment we’ve had three days without water, the rainwater has been so strong that it washed away part of the big pipe that brings the water to town, and it’s still so strong that the workers can’t fix it.
The sand extraction is a major influence on the river. The regional government, of Antioquia, has sold the river to a company. The company is extracting around 180 lorryloads of sand every day, they have excavators and a fleet of dump trucks. Down river this has a huge effect, the river is speeding up, it is changing its course quickly, eroding, making the houses dangerous to live in. And, the people who have extracted sand artisanally on a small scale, are being put out of work by the company and their big machines. The company is trying to get the people who dig sand by hand, who’ve always done that, who depend on that for their family’s sustenance, they are trying to get them removed, to have their work prohibited.
So, we’re getting floods and at the same time we have no drinking water, and many people are being made unemployed, so the issue of water is complicated here.