Water disaster in Brokopondo

You might have seen it on the news or heard about it on the streets.

Yes, the water in the interior of Suriname is really rising like you fill up your bath tube. While our production center is in the heart of Brokopondo we visited our extended family to see how they are coping with this situation. And we can tell you our respect for them grew even more.

They manage to keep the production line going while the water is taking over the houses and land. Even with these big water problems, the women secure that the products are ready in time and make sure the products are arriving in Paramaribo.

Our products need to travel by multiple boats and by bus to reach the city. This trip is just once a week but can you imagine they are doing this on a daily bases without complaining. People need to walk, take a boat to cross the water, and afterward walk into the water to reach their school or to get some groceries. We walked in their shoes for one day and we were already exhausted.

After driving from Paramaribo to Brokopondo centre we noticed we got stopped by a river we have never seen before. In the past 7 years we drove smoothly through the villages but this time we can't go through because water took over the road. We see an abandoned boat with a boat driver nowhere to be found. After a while, a young boatman shows up. We get seated in a metallic boat. Our ass got melted away while the boat is fully metal and doesn’t have cushions to protect your ass from the sun. The engine got started right away and directly we got confronted with the flooded houses. From some points, you only see the roof pointing out of the water. Heartbreaking:(


After this hell of a ride of 5 minutes we get charged for $0,50 (10 srd). Seems like a little fee for the boat ride, right. But if you have a big family that needs to cross over and come back home again this might be a challenge. Why do they need to pay in the first place? People in need should receive help, not another cashcow.

This isn’t the first time these villages are flooded with serious damage to their belongings and land. Remember the placement of Stuwmeer… For years they are crying for help but it seems like their problem gets shifted away and instead they receive a band-aid in the form of food packages. Aren’t they screaming loud enough or do people think they are less human?

Let history don't repeat itself and let's come up with sustainable solutions.

#deeprespect #brokopondo #stuwmeer

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