TİKA Donates Water Ambulance Named ‘İstanbul’ to Colombian Town

A water ambulance was donated by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency to Bojaya, a town in the northern part of Colombia in which healthcare is accessible only through river transportation.

Located in the Choco Department of Colombia Bojaya became a hideout for illegal organizations especially for FARC due to its extreme inaccessibility.  The town has been completely destroyed after the incident known as “Bojaya Massacre” which claimed the lives of 120 civilians that were hiding in a church in the town. Town inhabitants took refuge in other nearby settlements and it took some time to reconstruct the town in a forward location of 1 kilometer.

It is extremely difficult to aid the submerged towns through land transportation due to the periodic floods of the Atrato River, making the region supportable only with military aircrafts. The local community, who are not able to access the necessary healthcare in cases of emergency due to the insufficient infrastructure and they are required to take a journey of 6 hours with rafts called sloops to have a comprehensive medical examination.

Thanks to the water ambulance named “İstanbul”, provided by TİKA; a huge step has been taken on the way of solving health problems which require immediate medical attention such as epidemics, respiratory insufficiencies and infections which are observed in the region of 10.000 residents. Moreover, progress will be made upon the issues of antenatal emergencies and medical situations concerning infants.

The water ambulance is presented to the use of the local community with the cooperation of the Colombian military and Municipality of Bojaya. In its handover ceremony, Brigadier General Mauricio Moreno Rodriguez and the Choco District Director of National Training Service (SENA) Carlos Andrés Vargas García expressed their gratitude to Turkey and Turkish people and stated that the support by TİKA is of great importance in the eyes of the locals who are going through financial difficulties and combatting against diseases.