As we reported last week, our Disaster Response Team has been deployed once more to provide assistance in flood-impacted areas of Fiji, which was hit by two tropical storms in as many months.
Preliminary reports indicate that the second and more severe storm has resulted in the worst flooding the island has seen in 30 years. This has had a devastating impact on crops, people and animals – especially in the hardest hit regions of the Western Division.
We will be distributing emergency feed and veterinary supplies for livestock in the most severely flood-affected areas, which will benefit more than 5,000 cattle and horses and up to 20,000 goats and sheep. We’ll also provide support for a veterinary volunteer in offering direct services to communities who are unable to bring animals into a vet clinic.
As part of our risk reduction work in the country, we are currently compiling information and statistical data on livestock, and creating tools which will be used in the development of a database. This work will support the Fijian government in their emergency planning processes and ultimately help save animal lives in the future.
Finally, WSPA is also providing veterinary supplies and food to the SPCA Fiji office in the city of Nadi. The office was affected by the floods and is struggling to meet the needs of a surge in companion animals impacted by the disaster. Our support will benefit up to 100 cats and dogs.
In total—across both our interventions so far this year—WSPA is supporting an estimated 29,000 flood-affected animals across the most devastated areas of Fiji.
In addition to our on-going work in Fiji, WSPA’s Disaster Management team is also preparing a new joint deployment of colleagues from our Costa Rica and Colombian offices to assess a developing situation in Cota, Colombia. Wide-spread rainy season flooding resulting from La Niña phenomenon is expected to continue.
Last year’s floods impacted hundreds of thousands of farm animals. We’ll be working closely with officials in Colombia to determine how we can best provide support to the most impacted communities and animals.
We will keep you updated as we continue our work in both regions over the next weeks.