Due to particularly dry conditions, regular annual grassland burning in Bolivia went out of control in August and caused large-scale forest fires that have resulted in the displacement of thousands of families. People have limited access to safe water; prolonged exposure to ash and smoke is leading to an increase in eye and respiratory problems; and the fires have damaged agricultural land, productive assets and livestock, which is putting livelihoods and food security at risk. Affected populations are at increased risk of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), particularly those who have been displaced.
Save the Children is responding to this crisis by addressing the most pressing needs of affected communities four municipalities in relation to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), protection and livelihoods.
Save the Children will distribute water to households to meet the immediate needs, as well as rehabilitating damaged water sources and installing water purification systems. They will also distribute hygiene kits that include masks and eye protection.
To support agricultural livelihoods, Save the Children will provide agricultural tools and equipment to families with the greatest need.
They will also raise awareness about protection issues – such as children’s rights and SGBV – and gender equality.