Colombia: Floods – DREF Action Plan (EPoA), Operation n° MDRCO021 – Colombia


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

The sub-region of La Mojana in Colombia includes 11 municipalities distributed in four departments: Antioquia, Bolívar,
Cordoba and Sucre. It is a productive wetland forming part of the Momposina depression basin which regulates the course of the Magdalena, Cauca and San Jorge rivers and acts as a buffer against flooding. It facilitates the settling and accumulation of their sediments. Its water dynamics and its plant and animal biodiversity ensure food security and generate income for the population.

However, climate change, illegal mining, and the expansion of economies based on agriculture and livestock have weakened the plant crust and reduced its ability to capture water, which in turn has triggered impacts in the whole system of canals and swamps which prevent it from fulfilling its function.

Since April 2022, 11 municipalities in the La Mojana sub-region have suffered damage due to breaches in the jar along the sectors of Cara de Gato, Los Arrastres, Santillana and Caño Viloria. Three of the four breaches remain open, allowing large amounts of water to enter the municipalities and affecting at least 165,895 people (see Table 1). Respectively 100% and 97% of the municipalities of Sucre and San Benito Abad were affected, including their urban centers.

Water levels for the 2022 emergency have increased by approximately 40 cm compared to the 2021 emergency, reaching a height of between 1.5 and 3 meters, which has affected new communities located in areas higher, representing about 10,000 people more than the 2021 emergency. Likewise, these water levels are causing breaks in the road network which, according to local authorities and their communities, could make the municipalities of Majagual inaccessible, Guaranda, Achí, San Benito Abad and San Jacinto del Cauca. This situation has generated new humanitarian impacts on flood-affected communities during the 2021 emergency, exacerbating their needs and vulnerabilities.

On June 28, 2022, the National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD) held a national meeting of the Unified Command Post (PMU) with the mayors of the 11 affected municipalities and the operational and technical entities of the National Disaster Management System. Disaster Risks (SNGRD) to inform them about the following actions to be taken in the field and the strategy for coordinating these actions:

  • Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA).

  • Temporary shelters.

  • Emergency humanitarian aid.

  • Yellow emergency deployment.

  • Coordination meetings and establishment of the national PMU in Majagual to support coordinated actions and strategies on the ground.

  • Launch of the single register of victims.

Following the UNGRD’s request to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on July 7, 2022, it became necessary to convene a support and cooperation table in the context of the emergency in the sub -Mojana region to combine efforts and thus enable the development and implementation of basic humanitarian aid lines. This request for support has been extended to the CRCS to support specific areas coordinated by the UNGRD.

This emergency damaged crops, livelihoods, infrastructure, housing, access roads and much of the commercial sector, affecting 43,453 people, mainly from Sucre department. As part of the response actions, the UNGRD, in coordination with governmental and non-governmental organizations, supported these municipalities for three months through food and non-food assistance such as food kits, hygiene kits, cooking kits, tarpaulins, blankets, hammocks, mats and building materials.

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