Callahuanca: Enel continues working on the reconstruction a year after the devastating “Niño Costero” phenomenon

Published on Friday, 16 March 2018

  • A year after the tragedy, we are making an assessment of the supporting activities carried out in the areas affected by landslides and the ongoing community development projects.


March 16, 2017, is a date that changed the lives of the residents from Barbablanca, a community of the district of Callahuanca, in Huarochiri, which used to be known for its custard apples and avocados, as they were the best throughout Peru.

In only a few minutes, a series of landslides fell across the gorges of the Santa Eulalia River destroying everything around. The towns of Barbablanca and Purunhuasi ended up completely destroyed, and their inhabitants lost their houses and hectares of crops. In addition, they also affected the functioning of the Callahuanca Hydro-electric Power Plant.

It has been almost a year after the tragedy, in which, fortunately, no human lives were lost; however, there were severe material damages.

Progress Report

The reconstruction, as well as the work of Enel Peru, continue for the benefit of the residents of Callahuanca. 

Our work started right after the landslides occurred, by activating our emergency plan. We carried basic goods such as food supplies, water, tents, blankets, diapers and medicines by air and ground. All of this was done in coordination with local and regional governments, as well as with the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Energy and Mines, and INDECI (National Civil Defence Institute).

One of the first actions was aimed at recovering communication with the area, since it was left out of reach. This is how we managed to create a bridge that allowed transportation.

After that, we supported the community by cleaning and hauling debris away from common areas like the main avenue and public building e.g. primary school, the PRONOI (Alternative pre-school programme), health post and other public services. Altogether, we eliminated 3,420 m3 of debris including mud and rocks.

Long-term Plan

In the months following the tragedy, we established a work plan to provide better life conditions to the residents from Barbablanca, who were temporarily relocated in a plot donated by the community of Purunhuasi while the government was establishing its action plan for the area.

Our baseline to execute an action plan for immediate help consisted of different aspects: health, education, infrastructure and agriculture.


Enel continued supporting Barbablanca’s population with food and water.

The provision of health services carries on until today. Fortnightly, a doctor and a nurse assist residents for free and give advice to prevent diseases. So far, we have assisted 405 people and delivered 5,777 pieces of medicine.

Furthermore, in coordination with the Huarochiri Health Micro-network, we have fumigated the affected areas. In addition, we made two portable bathrooms with sinks available; for waste treatment, we installed 3 containers of 1,100 litres each in Purunhuasi in order to prevent diseases and the proliferation of insects.


As for infrastructure, we installed a water catchment system with a 2,500-litres capacity and a chlorination system to prevent diseases. Likewise, we built a communal kitchen covered with fire-resistant material and equipped with a kitchen hood, furniture, a 310-litre freezer, sinks and with connection to both water supply and sewerage systems.

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