July 30, 2015

Cerrejón Renews Partnership with La Guajira to Face the Emergency

During the first half of the year, Cerrejón through its Department of Social Responsibility and the Cerrejón Foundation for Water in La Guajira, attended 201 communities in the department with an investment of COP 455 million in the development of initiatives to provide the communities sustainable access to water during the emergency experiencing the region caused by an extended drought.

“Cerrejón understands the difficulties La Guajira has with the issue of water, especially and its neighbouring communities, so we have allocated additional resources and relief actions to attend the drought emergency until the end of the year, focusing our efforts on ensuring access to water for communities, helping manage the resource together with their leaders and various public and private entities,”
 said, Cerrejón’s manager of Social Responsibility, Eduardo Lozano.

Among the actions in place, part of the emergency plan by drought, this year 24,000 people of 201 communities of La Guajira have received 7 million litres of drinking water. In addition, 6 windmills have been repaired generating a daily availability of 259.2 thousand litres of water per day.

Angela Aguilar, Traditional Authority of the community of Karretamana, said: “We are grateful to Cerrejón and the Cerrejón Foundation for Water in La Guajira for supporting us in these critical times of drought. With the windmill in operation have water for drinking, cooking and animals. Now kids can go to school peacefully and not have to spend long hours walking for water”.

In conjunction with this work and to increase water storage capacity in the communities, they have received 757 tanks with capacity of 500 and 5,000 litres of water, to store water and use it for their different needs.

In addition, we continue weaving alliances with various public and private, national and international organizations, to implement projects aimed at developing permanent water solutions that meet the needs of communities. For example, in March, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of the Netherlands to design strategies to address the problem of drinking water shortages in the Department.

“The dry season is projected to the end of the year, so we will continue with the distribution of water to serve communities and include a new tank truck to expedite this work. In addition, we continue working on medium and long term solutions in partnerships to optimise our efforts. With everyone’s help we will be able to advance joint actions to tackle the situation,”said director of Cerrejón Foundation for Water in La Guajira, Raul Roys.

Cerrejón renews its commitment to solutions to mitigate the effects of drought in the Department, redoubling efforts to build partnerships with communities and work together in implementing initiatives that facilitate access to water and improve the quality of life of their residents.

Emergency support for the dry season in La Guajira from 2014

  • Cerrejón has invested more than COP $ 2,000 million, since April 2014 to date, in addressing the emergency.
  • 24,000 people in 201 communities of La Guajira have received relief with the delivery of 17 million litres of water since last year.
  • 159 communities have received 951 storage tanks with capacity of 500, 1,000 and 5,000 litres of water.
  • 57 windmills refurbished in 67 communities of Manaure, Albania, Uribia and Maicao generating a daily availability of 2.5 million litres of water and directly benefiting over 9,200 people.
  • 5 jagüeyes (traditional ponds) Repaired in 5 communities and maintenance to 4 along the railway; infrastructure that enables capturing rainwater, mitigating shortages in dry seasons.
  • Partnerships with various organisations such as USAID, Natural Heritage Fund, the World Food Programme, the Ramirez Moreno Foundation, Corpoguajira, the Government of La Guajira, the Colombian Geological Service, the Department of Water, the Order of Malta, Prosowa, government the Netherlands, among others.