Travel risk round-up: 4 April

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Paraguay: Officials Announce 90-Day Emergency Declaration Following Prolonged Flooding in Asuncion

According to official government sources on Wednesday, 3 April, the Paraguayan government has enacted a 90-day emergency after continued rain has caused widespread flooding in the capital, Asuncion. The National Emergency Minister, Joaquin Roa, declared the emergency after water levels in the Paraguay River and its tributaries have risen in recent weeks. Tens of thousands of people have been affected by the floodwaters, which are expected to continue to rise in the upcoming days. Road closures and evacuations are expected to increase as the water levels rise.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members in Paraguay are advised to exercise extreme caution during overland travel. Heed any directives issued by authorities and allow for additional journey time with all travel. Members are further advised to closely monitor weather-related developments through local media and review travel plans accordingly.

Burkina Faso: Scores Killed in Ethnic Clashes near Arbinda in Soum Province

According to regional media sources, the number of people believed to have been killed in inter-communal clashes in the commune of Arbinda in Soum province between Sunday, 31 March and Tuesday, 2 April has risen to 62. Nine people have also reportedly been kidnapped. Armed individuals reportedly entered the village of Hamkan and murdered a village leader and his relatives, leading to the clashes between communities in several surrounding villages. Government officials reported that 30 people had died as a result of the communal conflicts between different ethnic tribes and that militants operating in the region had capitalised on the situation and killed a further 32. Local religious leaders have called for calm amongst the communities and additional security personnel have been deployed to the region.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members are advised to exercise a heightened level of caution in light of the recent attacks and should be aware of increased security operations across in the region. Due to the high threat of militancy and criminal activity, all travel to areas of northern Burkina Faso should be subject to a thorough localised threat assessment and undertaken in coordination with a trusted security provider. Those in Burkina Faso should monitor local media sources for further updates on the situation in the area and to remain apprised of security-related developments in their particular area of operations.

Mali: Multiple Killed in IED Explosions in Cercle of Koro, Mopti Region

According to local media sources on Monday, 1 April, two people were killed in twin blasts which were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the commune in Madougou located in Cercle of Koro, Mopti Region. The first blast was triggered by a vehicle driving over an IED between the settlements of Anagadia and Bèmè. The second blast occurred when a motorcyclist drove over the second IED between Kassanwan Dah and Anakedjé. One further person was injured and hospitalised. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Due to the threat of tribal clashes and militant attacks, Mali remains an extremely high-risk operational environment. All non-essential travel to Mali should be reconsidered and operationally-critical deployments should be conducted with stringent security procedures in place.

Mozambique: Over a Thousand Cholera Cases in Cyclone-Hit City of Beira

According to regional media sources, government officials have announced that the number of cholera cases in the cyclone-hit country has risen to over 1,400 cases on Tuesday, 2 April, most of them in the port city of Beira. Authorities also announced a second confirmed death from the disease in Dondo, Sofala province. Cyclone Idai hit Beira on 14 March, bringing with it catastrophic flooding and killing hundreds in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Government and aid workers are seeking to contain the spread of the disease and some 900,000 vaccines have now arrived in Beira for the expected launch of a vaccination campaign on Wednesday, 3 April. The cyclone damaged or destroyed 54 health centres across central Mozambique, further challenging efforts to contain cholera and other waterborne diseases such as malaria.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by consuming contaminated food or water. Those infected will usually experience severe diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Travellers are advised to practice good food hygiene such as drinking only bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water, eating food that has been thoroughly cooked avoiding raw vegetables and fruits without a pee, and washing hands frequently and thoroughly. Travellers should immediately consult a physician upon presentation of any of the above symptoms.

Peru: Multiple Fatalities Reported after Gold Mine Collapses in La Libertad Department

According to regional media outlets on Monday, 1 April, at least eight people were killed after an illegal gold mine collapsed in Huamachuco, La Libertad department. It is indicated that collapse was caused by a gas explosion in one of the mine shafts. The incident occurred in the so-called Cerro El Toro area, where a conflict between legal and illegal gold miners has been raging for a year.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members should monitor local media sources for further updates on the incident. It is recommended that personnel ensure that international standard safety regulations are in place when carrying out mining or industrial operations across the country.

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