Yesterday, the government declared an agricultural emergency in the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaiso, O’Higgins, and Maule, due to the water shortages that it affects in those areas. But for RN leader and president of the Association of Municipalities of Chile (Amuch), Gustavo Alessandri, the decision taken was late and insufficient in the face of the ravages generated by the drought.
“As an example, in the Valparaiso region the rainfall deficit exceeds 70 percent, the Los Aromos reservoir has a water capacity of 33 percent, while the Peñuelas reservoir has 0.6 percent. These statistics indicate that we are at risk of water rationing and therefore the declaration of a disaster zone is much more coherent than the agricultural emergency,” Alessandri said.
He also added that the state of catastrophe makes it possible to respond more efficiently to the immense number of actions that must be taken as soon as possible, depending on the effects that the drought has generated.
In this sense, he explained that both the agricultural emergency and the declaration of a disaster zone can coexist since the latter increases the allocation and opening up of new resources.
“Today, the farmer who does not belong to Indap or prodesal programs, are not considered with the benefits that the agricultural emergency delivers, but I insist, even if they were, we fall short. We need access to emergency resources, and from other regional bodies, so that they make it easier for everyone to access safe drinking water. No one has learned today that the drought is here to stay, we have known this for several years and to believe that the only ones affected at the moment are the farmers and ranchers, is not knowing the reality of the territory, “he said.