ECLOF Colombia supports a farmer overcome the disaster caused to his crops by La Niña

Client: José Vicente Aguasaco Sierra

Business: Farming

Location: Colombia

Gender: Man

The strong rains originating from La Niña that have recently affected Colombia caused disasters for crops and roads for many of ECLOF Colombia’s clients. A special report from the Regional Committee for the Attention and Prevention of Disasters (CREPAD) revealed that in 2011 every 16 kilometers of road in Colombia contained an area damaged by rain.

This disaster, which has affected enormous stretches of croplands, cattle pastures, roads, settlements, and houses, was mainly due to the overflowing of the Chicamocha, Magdalena, and Suarez rivers, Lakes Fúquene and Sochagota, the cooling reservoirs of Termopaipa and Lake Tota in the areas of the Boyacá department such as Tota, Cuitiva and Aquitania. Indeed, it has created a real state of emergency. Moreover, the Colombian Weather Service informed the population that even if La Niña has now become weaker, the rains will continue to cripple the country until the end of June.

The strong rains have direly affected the Villa de Leyva Region, in Boyacá, where one of ECLOF Colombia’s clients, José Vicente Aguasaco Sierra, lives. His tomato and onion crops have been entirely and irremediably flooded.  Because of this disaster, Don Vicente’s economic situation was severely affected. In particular, it became impossible for him to pay his credit installments to ECLOF Colombia. Don Vicente works on six hectares of rented land; and now, burdened with these additional, unexpected difficulties, he was greatly challenged to find a way to get back on his feet. 

While faced with such problems, Don Vincente was particularly grateful for ECLOF Colombia’s understanding and support. “ECLOF’s management listened to me, regarding this unforeseen climate change. I sent a letter explaining my situation and they helped me out by granting me four months without my having to pay installments, so that I can overcome this emergency.” And Don Vincente is actively working to avoid falling into a similar situation in the future. Indeed, he told us “I already have six lanes of a green house, 20 tomato plants sown, and 10,000 pounds of onions to plant. I’ve learned my lesson though. I’m planting away from the river…I’m not going to put my crops at risk when another rainy season comes. I only hope now to harvest my crops and repay my debt.” 

And we’re proud to say that the quality of ECLOF Colombia’s social services and the high level of protection offered to its clients have played an important part in helping Don Vincente overcome the crisis that he faced – not alone, indeed - and prepare him for a brighter future.