Paraguayan Army Helps Population Affected by Floods

Paraguayan Army Helps Population Affected by Floods

By Dialogo
March 09, 2015





Military engineers with the Paraguayan Army are using shovels, hoes and tractors to help rebuild the the civilian population's homes and reopen streets damaged by torrential rains and flooding in the Departments of San Pedro, Concepción and Canindeyú.

On January 13, the Paraguyan government declared a 90-day state of emergency in regions heavily damaged by flooding. As a result, some roads became impassable while many homes were damaged or destroyed.

“Having the opportunity to help people in need within the framework of an assistance program strengthens our ties with the population and gives us the opportunity to carry out a non-traditional mission when compared to our normal role of providing defense," said Paraguayan Minister of Defense, retired General Bernardino Soto Estigarribia, when he announced the Army initiative to help the civilian population.

"We’re carrying out this task with enthusiasm and following orders as soldiers do."

Rebuilding homes in the Department of San Pedro


Seventy officials with the Army’s Engineering Command have been deployed since January 19, during the operation's initial phase, in the district of Santa Rosa de Aguaray, in the Department of San Pedro. They are building 100 homes, which will directly benefit approximately 500 people.

“These are economical housing units that consist of a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a laundry room in the back of the house, totaling 34 square meters. The construction materials are bricks and the doors and windows are made of metal. The roof is made of Spanish tiles,” said General Milciades Rojas, Commander of the Engineering Command of the Paraguayan Armed Forces.

The task is the first in a series to build 5,000 homes in the three departments, at a cost of $50 million. An average of five people will benefit from each home.

Repairing other homes and providing health care, medicine, and food to flooding victims will require an investment of $37.5 million.

Cooperation aids in emergency missions


The second stage of the mission, according to Soto, will take place in the regions of Concepción and Canindeyú, where 82 officials from the Joint Training Center for Peacekeeping Operations (CECOPAZ) will work. The group returned from Haiti on January 19, after having served for a year helping to rebuild the Caribbean country, which was devastated by an earthquake in January 2010.

“The CECOPAZ Soldiers will use all of the training and experience that they gained in Haiti to rebuild various villages in the north of the country," said Soto. "For the Armed Forces this is a big step towards integrating with civil society. We’re always ready to serve when needed."

In 2014, U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) civil-military assistance funds made it possible to open Paraguay's first regional Emergency Operations Center and Disaster Relief Warehouse to serve the departments of San Pedro, Concepción, Amambay, and Canindeyú, in the country's east-central region, according to SOUTHCOM data.

The facilities were part of a disaster preparedness program that aims to help countries in the region build their disaster relief capabilities and includes the infrastructure, equipment and training needed to ensure the centers are fully operational once completed.




Military engineers with the Paraguayan Army are using shovels, hoes and tractors to help rebuild the the civilian population's homes and reopen streets damaged by torrential rains and flooding in the Departments of San Pedro, Concepción and Canindeyú.

On January 13, the Paraguyan government declared a 90-day state of emergency in regions heavily damaged by flooding. As a result, some roads became impassable while many homes were damaged or destroyed.

“Having the opportunity to help people in need within the framework of an assistance program strengthens our ties with the population and gives us the opportunity to carry out a non-traditional mission when compared to our normal role of providing defense," said Paraguayan Minister of Defense, retired General Bernardino Soto Estigarribia, when he announced the Army initiative to help the civilian population.

"We’re carrying out this task with enthusiasm and following orders as soldiers do."

Rebuilding homes in the Department of San Pedro


Seventy officials with the Army’s Engineering Command have been deployed since January 19, during the operation's initial phase, in the district of Santa Rosa de Aguaray, in the Department of San Pedro. They are building 100 homes, which will directly benefit approximately 500 people.

“These are economical housing units that consist of a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a laundry room in the back of the house, totaling 34 square meters. The construction materials are bricks and the doors and windows are made of metal. The roof is made of Spanish tiles,” said General Milciades Rojas, Commander of the Engineering Command of the Paraguayan Armed Forces.

The task is the first in a series to build 5,000 homes in the three departments, at a cost of $50 million. An average of five people will benefit from each home.

Repairing other homes and providing health care, medicine, and food to flooding victims will require an investment of $37.5 million.

Cooperation aids in emergency missions


The second stage of the mission, according to Soto, will take place in the regions of Concepción and Canindeyú, where 82 officials from the Joint Training Center for Peacekeeping Operations (CECOPAZ) will work. The group returned from Haiti on January 19, after having served for a year helping to rebuild the Caribbean country, which was devastated by an earthquake in January 2010.

“The CECOPAZ Soldiers will use all of the training and experience that they gained in Haiti to rebuild various villages in the north of the country," said Soto. "For the Armed Forces this is a big step towards integrating with civil society. We’re always ready to serve when needed."

In 2014, U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) civil-military assistance funds made it possible to open Paraguay's first regional Emergency Operations Center and Disaster Relief Warehouse to serve the departments of San Pedro, Concepción, Amambay, and Canindeyú, in the country's east-central region, according to SOUTHCOM data.

The facilities were part of a disaster preparedness program that aims to help countries in the region build their disaster relief capabilities and includes the infrastructure, equipment and training needed to ensure the centers are fully operational once completed.
Women to power The work of our Latin American armed forces is so interesting and productive. I am honored and worthy of knowing that their work is very positive. The military forces contribute with their training given that they were trained to serve the nation.
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