22 March, 2017

Indigenous people in Peru take advantage of heavy rains to capture and store water

Infiltration ditches also allow to stop landslides and floods.

Foto: Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Security Program / CHIRAPAQ

Ayacucho is on alert due to heavy rains that the National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology (Senamhi) forecasts will continue to lash the region until Saturday.

The Regional Government of Ayacucho called the Civil Defense Platform to evaluate the impact in the region of the rains, which are reported, have destroyed numerous roads and crops.

In the district of Huambalpa, the climatic emergency mobilized 250 people who, last Sunday, dug up more than fifty hectares of infiltration ditches on the slopes of the mountains. This, in order to accumulate the water and to avoid that the rains are filtered towards the low zones.

This technique of indigenous origin retains water on the land, which is used by farmers during the dry season.

The Ayacucho region was one of the regions declared in water emergency last December. Becoming aware that this phenomenon could happen again, men and women, elders and young people participated in the task.

They were led by their local authorities and accompanied by the team of CHIRAPAQ, Center of Indigenous Cultures of Peru.

This association, supported by Bread for the World, works in the area promoting the reappraisalof native crops and the recovery of indigenous food culture through sustainable indigenous agricultural practices. Among them, this one also known as “harvest of water”.

Through this activity the population seeks to adapt to the impacts and mitigate the effects of climate change, proving that indigenous ancestral knowledge can be an alternative solution to these climatic anomalies that the Ayacucho region and Peru lives each year with greater intensity.