02 February 2016
Cerrejón has operated for over three decades in La Guajira, Colombia. In mid-2014, a national state of emergency was declared due to the most severe drought recorded in decades. Since then, Cerrejón has established a multi-disciplinary team of over 30 employees to support the welfare of the impacted communities.
The team developed an Emergency Response Plan, founded on the principles of commitment, coordination, participation and respect of communities, and collaboration with partners to address short-term needs, but also to deliver sustainable long-term solutions for the region.
The team has distributed over 19 million litres of drinking water to 27,000 people. They've repaired 59 windmill-driven water pumps, which generate 2.5 million litres of water a day for 9,200 residents. And they've delivered 956 water tanks to 159 communities for water storage. The team has also been working to establish long-term partnerships with national and international public and private organisations.
This diverse, innovative approach is a ground-breaking solution for regions that face challenges around sustainable access to water.