Response to fire in community surrounding Fairtrade mining cooperative MACDESA in Peru

Macdesa

Over 300 houses were destroyed and infrastructure damaged in a devastating fire which swept through the community surrounding newly certified Fairtrade mine MACDESA on the afternoon of 4th July 2015. Our thoughts are with the families of those affected.

Fortunately there was no loss of life or serious injury reported. However, families who live in the village have been left with no shelter and there has been serious damage to the school. Women and children have been offered shelter in the church, the auditorium and the few houses that remain standing. Damage to the school includes the destruction of two classrooms, a music storage room, the kitchen, a computer room containing 15 computers, a food warehouse and the library. As a result the school is currently closed.

Water is being supplied by MACDESA’s trucks as the site, which is located in a desert, is very remote and there are no water storage reservoirs.

MACDESA’s canteen is providing food to those affected. Mr Valerio Conrodi, Mayor of local town Chaparra 7 km away has also brought food, blankets and mattresses for those affected and the Mayor of Chala, 45 km away, is also expected to visit and to provide additional aid. Cred Jewellery are setting up a platform for people to make donations to support the group to rebuild their community. A disaster relief fund is being set up by the CRED Foundation to raise funds to help the MACDESA community recover from the fire. To donate, please visit http://bit.ly/helpmacdesa.

The exact cause of the fire is unknown, but the community think it was probably caused by short-circuiting of the electrical system. Information will be shared as it becomes available.

For more information about Fairtrade gold, visit www.fairgold.org. To find out where to buy Fairtrade gold, visit http://ido.fairtrade.org.uk/.

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For more information, please contact Martine Parry, Media and PR Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, 020 7440 7695, martine.parry@fairtrade.org.uk.