Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The Fight of the Wayuu Ethnic Community against the Drought in La Guajira, Colombia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Diana Maria Contreras Mojica, Dr Satya Bhamidimarri


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Wayuu community in Colombia constitutes about half of the population of department of La Guajira, located in the northeast of the country. According to the National Department of Statistics in Colombia (DANE), between 2008 and 2013, about 4,151 children have died in La Guajira. Among these, 278 deaths were due to undernourishment. The shortage of food is a consequence of bad water management policies and loss of crops due to the prolonged drought that started in 2012. In year 2006, the upper course of river Rancheria was altered while building the El Cercado dam. This further reduced the access to water for these communities located in the middle and lower course of the river. The effects of climate change had deteriorated their conditions. The severity of the current situation and the corruption involved in handling this issue has attracted unparalleled criticism from within the country and internationally. Some institutions even equate it to genocide and demanding more immediate action from the government to protect this community. Our investigation has shown that there is no awareness in the scientific community about this situation. This has motivated us to investigate further and present the basic status quo that will be helpful to build the capacity in addressing this problem methodologically. To build such a capacity, we use spatial analysis to develop spatial indices for each settlement like the proportion of population that benefits from the current water sources and to identify the populations that lack access to water. We expect to determine, with participation from the Wayuu community, adaptation measures for both short and long-term access to water.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Contreras D, Bhamidipati S, Contreras S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: The 6th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC Davos 2016

Year of Conference: 2016

Print publication date: 30/09/2016

Acceptance date: 31/03/2016

Publisher: Global Risk Forum (GRF) Davos