Bolivia declares state of emergency over sediments in Pilcomayo River

14:24, June 09, 2011      

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Bolivia issued a state of emergency Wednesday in the southern Tarija province over the Pilcomayo River's rising level of sediments that has seriously affected the local fishery.

"This phenomenon is affecting not only the environment for the loss of fish, but also the 1,000 local families who live on fishery," Defense Minister Maria Cecilia Chacon said.

The sediments on the Argentine part of the river have prevented the migration and flow of fish to the upper stream of the river in Bolivia.

The new Bolivian emergency decree authorized the Tarija local government and all affected municipalities to use "all necessary measures" to deal with the situation.

The decree also urges the Foreign Ministry, in coordination with the affected regions, to meet with the Argentine and Paraguayan sides, which share the river with Bolivia, to solve the emergency.

The Civil Defense Ministry will aid the families in the affected areas with subsidized water and food.

The local government of Argentina's Formosa province said earlier this month that it had started to remove the sediments and that Bolivia must do the same in order to efficiently clean the river.

The Pilcomayo River starts in Bolivia and runs through Argentina and Paraguay before emptying into the Paraguay River.

Source: Xinhua
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