Following a public appeal in the U.K. and U.S.A, Brooke has approved an emergency grant to provide water, food and essential veterinary care to an estimated 312 horses, donkeys and mules that, along with their owners, have been worst affected by Guatemala’s Fuego volcano eruptions on 3 and 6 June 2018.
Through its partner, ESAP, Brooke will provide vital care and support for animals located within the “hot zone”, the immediate area around the eruptions, for the next month. As well as horses, donkeys and mules, the relief work will also benefit other animals, including an estimated 536 cattle, 345 pigs and 15,208 poultry.
General Director of ESAP Mario Sapon, who was evacuated from his home after the first eruptions said: “Our initial efforts proved difficult after poor air quality and rain meant we were unable to access the “hot zone” until 9 June. Animals within the area were distressed, dehydrated and hungry, with many suffering from burns and wounds. This fund will ensure that the team can continue to provide relief and support to all affected by this disaster.”
One of the most populated countries in Latin America, Guatemala relies heavily on horses, donkeys and mules for the transporting of agricultural products such as corn, beans and wood, and for carrying water from wells to homes.
These animals are the backbone of Guatemalan society, with the livelihoods of many people depending on them. ESAP has worked with Brooke in Guatemala since 2006, and it is vital that we provide support in the aftermath of this disaster. Thank you to Brooke’s supporters for helping us raise these funds
110 people were killed as a result of the eruptions, with a further 197 still missing (Reuters 18 June). Guatemala’s CONRED national disaster management agency reported that by 6 June a total of 12,089 people had been evacuated from the region, with 3,319 people dispersed in 13 shelters.
The appeal raised over £16,000 through donations to Brooke in the UK, and Brooke USA, its sister organisation. It will not only pay for this emergency response, but also future ongoing work to improve the welfare of working equines in Guatemala. The relief work will take place between June and July 2018, and Brooke will continue to monitor the impacts of the volcano over the next six months.