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World Horse Welfare offers support in aftermath of Fuego volcano eruption in Guatemala
Many lives have been lost and hundreds of people unaccounted for with entire settlements engulfed by lava, rocks and toxic fumes destroying homes and livelihoods.
Ash from the volcano has travelled as far as 40km and is 3-5cm deep in many communities as well as filling the air. Agriculture - which forms a huge part of the area's economy - is badly affected, as are the many working horses who are so important in transporting both goods and people.
The area surrounding the Fuego volcano is home to hundreds of working horses which are depended upon for transporting goods and people. As a result of the eruption, many horses now have no choice but to eat contaminated food and many are in urgent need of veterinary care to treat eye infections and respiratory problems caused by the dust and ash.
Working with our in-country partner, SABE (a local equine welfare organisation), our project in Guatemala has been supporting horses and their owners since 2012 and many of these communities have been severely affected by the eruption.
Our team from SABE has been on the ground since Monday providing emergency veterinary treatment and supporting owners wherever possible but there is much more still to be done.
We are currently unable to access the areas worst affected by the eruption (locally known as ground zero) but as soon as it is safe to enter, the team will be moving in to provide veterinary assistance and administer vaccinations which will protect horses from the increased risk of tetanus and influenza.
Our team will be working closely with horse owners to provide training and supplies to assist in basic care such as cleaning their horses’ eyes, keeping their skin clean of dust and ash to prevent sores and treating wounds to ensure they do not become infected.