Paraguay, (Diksha Kumari): Captain Roberto Gonzalez has been operating the ship for the last 25 years, but he has never seen such a scene in his life. At night, they saw “flickering red lights” near the Paraguay River.
He told the BBC, “I had never seen this before. But now their whereabouts have dried up and these animals have now come out of the water”.
Captain Gonzalez was referring to a recent severe drought that severely affected the Paraguay River.
After eight months of drought, the water level of this river has seen a historic decline. By the end of October, the water level of the river has come down as never before in the recorded history of the river.
Satellite photographs released by the US Space Agency NASA showed how much more than the area around the Paraguay River passing through the capital Asuncion has dried up more than three years ago.
This was disturbing news for Paraguay. How important this river is for the country can be gauged from the fact that the name of the country is in the name of the river itself. This river is considered the lifeline of the country.
According to Paraguay’s National Administration of Navigation and Ports (ANPP), on October 25, the river’s water level in Asuncion was below 54 cm above normal.
After a little rain, the water level of the river improved slightly on November 9 and it reached only 14 cm below normal.
But ANPP director Lewis Hara calls the situation worrisome. They say that the increase recorded in the river’s water level recently is not suitable.
In an interview to local television channel ABC, he said, “After the rains that have occurred, we are seeing some bitter figures about how much water will remain in the river in the last months of the year.
During this interview, he warned that water level in the river is not going to rise soon and it is possible that in January or February next year, the river can have normal water level and the river can be ready for ships.
“But it does not mean that the water of the river will not be reduced again. We desperately need rain.”
Paraguay’s Meteorological Department director Raul Rados told the BBC that at this time of year the river’s water level should be at least 2.5 meters.
Paraguay’s lifeline- Paraguay River
Paraguay is a land -bound country on all four sides, Bolivia and Argentina on the side, Brazil and Uruguay on the other side.
This South American country is completely dependent on the Paraguay River of water. For this reason, this river is called the lifeline of the country.
Paraguay’s deputy commerce minister Pedro Manasulo told the BBC, “For us, Paraguay is the only road takes us to the sea and this road is now in trouble due to the drought”.
They say that in some places this river has dried up so much that large commercial ships can no longer run.
George Vergara, who served as director in the country’s Ministry of Public Works and Communications, says, “If no solution is found to this difficult situation is found to this difficult situation, it will be impossible to sail on the river. We estimate that in about a month we will You can face a difficult situation.
They say that the drying up of the river’s water is directly impacting the country’s economy.
According to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce, in the year 2019, 52 percent of the imported goods in the country and 73 percent of exported goods were brought and transported through the river.
Paraguay is one of the world’s largest agricultural product exporters. This country exports many soybeans and has the world’s largest fleet of ships operating on the river.
Lack of drinking water:
It is not only about the running of ships, but also due to lack of water, the supply of drinking water, the supply of drinking water has been interrupted in the house of the citizens of Paraguay.
Earlier this year, the government inaugurated a plan to bring the water of the river to the Chaco area facing waterlogging. Under this plan, water from the Paraguay River was being transported to the people; s home in Puerto Casado, 650 km from Asuncion.
But due to lack of water in the catchment area of the river, the water is not reaching here in October. Even water supply is getting disrupted in Asuncion.
The river has special significance for communities living along the banks of the Paraguay River. The people of these communities depend on the river for their daily needs and supplies.