Peru works to extend water services after massive flooding

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Peru's state water company Sedapal, which faces a 100mn-sol (US$30mn) repair bill for flood damage to its infrastructure, has completed 36% of its Valle Amauta 3 project on the eastern outskirts of capital Lima.

Sedapal has built two of six planned reservoirs to date in Lima's industrial district of Ate, designed to store a total of 600m3, the company said in a statement.

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The company added it is also building a 20m3 raised water tank, 9.49km of potable water piping, 8.5km of sewerage pipelines and 748 domestic connections.

The 19mn-sol project will benefit 4,000 residents in a dozen neighborhoods, Sedapal said. The company, which aims to invest 20bn soles in about 200 potable water and sewerage projects over the next five years, has yet to provide services for 100% of the capital's 9mn population, according to water regulator Sunass.

At the same time, north coastal communities left homeless by massive flooding over the past two months began protesting for water services. About 2,000 shantytown residents who are living in tents in the Piura region, the area hardest hit by floods, blocked the North Pan American Highway to demand the government install potable water and sewerage services, Lima-based daily El Comercio reported.

Rain-swollen rivers and landslides have left at least 106 dead and 170,000 homeless, and caused over US$3bn in damage to water and power plants, schools, hospitals, housing, bridges, railroads and roads since January, according to the central bank.

Bridges

In other infrastructure news, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski reopened the North Pan American Highway after flooding blocked the route last month.

The road was reopened to traffic after Kuczynski inaugurated a 8.7mn-sol, 112m-long Bailey truss bridge over the Virú River in La Libertad region. Kuczynski also pledged to build a second bridge over the river and install potable water and sewerage services in the region's Virú province.

"Less words, more public works. We have to get to work," Kuczynski said in a statement posted on the presidential website. "We've started work on a study to know where the other bridge should go."

The housing and construction ministry, meanwhile, said it began evaluating flooding damage to housing in La Libertad to calculate how much government aid will be needed in the north coastal area.

Ten teams from the government's agency in charge of formalizing property (Cofopri) aim to calculate the damage to 2,000 homes in the northern city of Trujillo and 60,000 properties across the region, the ministry said in a statement. The ministry is also operating a fleet of dump trucks, bulldozers and a steamroller to clear rubble from Trujillo after the city was left underwater in March.

The Andean region was recovering from the effects of the La Niña phenomenon, where cooler ocean temperatures caused drought in the highlands. The delayed rain season has this year also caused widespread flooding in Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina.