When Rosio’s daughter began to panic and tell her she was certain, a huge flood was coming, she could hear it, Rosio didn’t believe it at first. It was raining, sure but Rosio didn’t hear anything but the normal sound of the rain. Then she saw the avalanche of water and mud cascading down the hillside.
They grabbed their valuebles and pets, and ran for higher ground.
Luckily, their house was not damaged in the flood. The community of Las Brisas De California, founded around 1997, had learned not to build in the drainage path of the surrounding hillsides when previous years floods swept homes and stores down into the river below.
However, that wasn’t enough to save them from the terrible flood season of 2017. Communities lower down had flattened the drainage path, causing the floods to overflow the river banks and destroy the road that provided the only access to the community.
One particularly bad week of flooding left them without access to electricity, food, or potable water for an entire week, because the road was destroyed and the river was so high it was uncrossable.
When the rains ceased and the community became accessible, the water trucks the community had always relied on to come and sell them water, along with public transit, never came back. They now had to walk an hour to Chosica to purchase and basic supplies and then carry it back.
MEDLIFE went to visit Las Brisas de California while surveying communities to see how we could help after the flooding, and decided to get in touch with the water trucks ourselves, and to pay them to bring water up to this community. They agreed, and Las Brisas finally got water after over a week with no access.
Although tap water has been restored to the parts of the city connected to the municipal water system, many communities that rely on water trucks to bring them water, like Las Brisas and most of the commmunities MEDLIFE works in, remain thirsty and unserviced.
We be returning the following week to bring a Mobile Clinic to Las Brisas, after water and food, residents told what they needed most was medicine.