11:35 GMT +311 December 2018
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    Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks at a news conference after addressing a United Nations General Assembly special session.

    Bolivian President Declares State of Emergency Over Severe Drought

    © REUTERS / Mike Segar
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    Bolivian President Evo Morales declared the state of emergency on Monday as Bolivia witnesses the hottest year over the past century which resulted in severe drought.

    LA PAZ (Sputnik) — Moreales held an emergency meeting of the Bolivian government that resulted in adoption of a decree launching to mobilization of the economic resources of the offices of mayors and governors as well as of the executive authority to solve the problem.

    "This morning we all gathered to discuss the situation. I changed my schedule in order to concentrate on this issue,’’ Morales announced during a press conference after the meeting.

    Besides, the Cabinet of Ministers has been divided into commissions to carry out both short-term and long-term work, including deciding on water tanks allocation and providing most affected areas with water.

    Heavy drought and water shortages affected 131 out of 139 Bolivian municipalities, including the capital.

    On November 17, the leaders of Fejuve, Federation of Town Councils, held Bolivian deputy water minister and other water authorities hostage. It happened after the Bolivian minister of environment and water did not show up for a meeting to report on a water supply project in the city of El Alto, according to media reports.

    President Morales fired the head of state water company EPSAS and the director of state water authority AAPS for not informing the government about the water shortages. The drought occurred due to El Nino phenomenon, the warming up of the Pacific Ocean, which caused heavy flooding in Bolivia in 2015. Currently the country is under La Nina phenomenon, when cooling of ocean produced drought in the mountains, reported by local media on November 17.


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