Catastrophic floods in Peru wipe out infrastructure impacting 1 million

Rotary Club of Key Biscayne Foundation volunteer with a resident of one of the Peruvian communities harmed by flooding

What happened? 
Rain. Heavy, incessant rain, powered by El Nino, has soaked the country of Peru causing rivers to overflow and massive mudslides to occur destroying roads and wiping out entire villages. It is said to be the worst flooding Peru has seen in more than 20 years.

Death tolls continue to increase and more than 100 people have already lost their lives. 150,000 have lost their homes. According to Caritas Internationalis, a Catholic relief organization specializing in disaster response, with teams in Peru right now, the country’s infrastructure has suffered severe impact from the torrential rain and mudslides. 258 bridges are down and 6000 km of highways are damaged.

Food, Water & Illness
Food prices are rising steeply due to road blockages, drinking water systems have been contaminated and illness is on the rise.

Mosquito-Borne Illness
The situation is said to get worse as weather experts warn of more heavy rains throughout the country in the coming weeks. Stagnant water is everywhere creating ripe conditions for mosquitoes to flourish. Unfortunately, the Aedes aegypti mosquito in particular, endemic in Peru and known to cause Dengue fever, Chikungunya and Zika virus, is thriving in the current post flood conditions.

Protective Efforts
Young residents of Peruvian region devastated by flooding.The Ministry of Health has started an aerial-spraying campaign to minimize the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and donations of mosquito nets are in the works.

Insect Shield® is proud to support the efforts of the Rotary Club of Key Biscayne Foundation and Caritas with the help of Rotarians Stephen Baker, Patti Urban and Catarina Jimenez. Caritas will be distributing Insect Shield bug repellent protective nets to impacted people in need throughout the flooded areas along the coastal mountains near Lima.

Additionally, a portion of the Insect Shield nets will be brought to Peru courtesy of Catarina Jimenenz aboard the only regularly operating hospital boat in the Peruvian Amazon. The boat, known as Tucunare is the only medical facility serving the remote upper reaches of the Peruvian Amazon River and its major tributaries. It reaches those who would otherwise not have access to basic healthcare, much less protective nets.

Insect Shield Partnership with the Mosquitero Project
In 2011, The Rotary Club of Key Biscayne received their first Rotary International Grant to buy and distribute anti-malaria Mosquiteros in Bolivar State in Venezuela. Their Global Grant #1411141 afforded the ability to distribute 6,000 nets throughout 2014 and 2015 and was chosen as one of “20 Grants to be Honored” by the Rotary Foundation for its 2017 100th anniversary.

Insect Shield has supported the Mosquitero Project since the initial grant was received in 2011. The first donation included the treatment of 2000 anti-malaria mosquitero hammocks. The nets were donated to Ye’kuana and Sanema people living on the malaria-impacted Rios Ventuari & Caura in Venezuela. The objective of the project was to reduce the rate of malaria infection among the indigenous people who are the exclusive residents of the upper section of the Ventuari River – the Alto Ventuari – in Amazonas State, Venezuela.

Malaria is widespread and on the rise throughout the Amazon basin. The disease sickens tens of thousands and kills thousands of people each year in Venezuela. The region of Venezuela with the highest incidence of the disease per thousand people is Amazonas State, home to a mostly indigenous population.

The indigenous people of Amazonas are some of the poorest in the country and often live in physically isolated communities, far from medical services. Malaria can strike any person exposed to an infected mosquito, but it is young children, pregnant women, and the elderly who are most likely to die of the disease.

Efforts and Partnerships Continue

Peruvian homes affected by extreme flooding.Since the beginning, with help from Insect Shield and others, 10,000 nets have been distributed in Venezuela and an additional 14,000 are slated for delivery in Peru.

Where Next?
Insect Shield global health expert partner and humanitarian, Stephen Baker, has just finished a fact-finding trip to Colombia where it is likely he will start the next Mosquitero Project. Insect Shield plans to continue support of the incredible work of Stephen and his colleagues in an effort to protect those most at risk for insect-borne illnesses in some of the most remote corners of globe.

Peruvian women with an Insect Shield bug repellent blanket.For more Information and How to Help?

Patti Urban

Steve Baker
$10 buys and delivers one of our state of the art LLIN style mosquiteros to a poor family living in the Peruvian Amazon Rotary Club of Key Biscayne Foundation is a Charitable organization under IRS 501 c 3

About Insect Shield:
Insect Shield Repellent Apparel and Gear are revolutionary products designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection. The durable protection provided by Insect Shield is the result of years of research and testing. In July 2003, Insect Shield Repellent Apparel was registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Insect Shield Technology is utilized by 75+ leading lifestyle brands, work wear distributors and International relief organizations across the globe to provide effective protection against insects and the diseases they can carry. Insect Shield is an approved vendor of the US Army and US Marine Corps and approved for distribution in 46 countries.