Heavy rains destroy crops, livestock in Bolivia

Flooding in Bolivia
Flooding in Bolivia

(Reuters) — Torrential rains continue to wreck havoc in Bolivia’s rural areas as farmers are helpless to save their livestock from the flood waters.

Thousands of head of cattle and other livestock that sought refuge on small patches of higher ground are now trapped there surrounded by the water which is expected to stay at it’s current level for at least the next ten days.

Unable to feed them the farmers are helpless to save their animals who are starving before their very eyes.

“This area is at risk and there are between twelve thousand and fifteen thousand head of cattle that if in the next few days do not receive help to be rescued and taken to higher ground all of these cattle will die,” said cattle farmer Miguel Villavicencio.

“There are many cattle and calves that are dying because of the situation with the rain,” said Bolivian cowboy Juan Carlos Vanegas.

Officials report that over 17,000 hectares of prime agricultural land has been flooded across Bolivia, devastating subsistence farmers.

With agricultural communities and towns cut-off by the deadly floods, the nation’s armed forces have been using barges to carry dozens of tonnes of food and supplies to people cut off by the floods.

The deadly floodwaters are affecting some 44,000 residents and killed at least 38 others.

With relentless rains expected to batter parts of Bolivia until mid-March, some believe the recent floods could be worse than the country’s devastating 2007 “El Nino” floods which displaced nearly half a million people.