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A soldier helps a woman and her child escape flooding in Tabasco. A soldier helps a woman and her child escape flooding in Tabasco.

Tabasco flood victims will receive 8,000 pesos and appliance vouchers

A census of victims is to begin on Monday

Households affected by flooding in Tabasco will receive 8,000 pesos (US $395) and vouchers exchangeable for domestic appliances just before Christmas.

Flooding caused by heavy rains brought by two cold fronts and a tropical storm has affected an estimated 900,000 people and more than 90,000 homes in the  Gulf coast state.

Federal Welfare Minister Javier May Rodríguez announced Wednesday that a census to identify victims will start next Monday and conclude on December 6.

Speaking at the state government palace in Villahermosa, May said the relief payments and appliance vouchers will be distributed in affected communities between December 16 and 20.

“We want to make it clear that the assistance is for each [affected] home, not per family,” he said.

The Ministry of Agrarian Development and Urban Planning will be responsible for distributing the cash payments for home cleanup and repairs while the Welfare Ministry will manage the voucher scheme. The latter will sign an agreement with department stores where affected residents will be able to exchange vouchers for appliances.

Assisted by the army, some 2,000 government social program employees known as national servants will conduct the census in communities across all 17 municipalities of Tabasco.

“Even if it’s in a boat or canoe, we will arrive,” May said.

The minister said the head of each affected household will be required to show official identification to the census workers. Decals with QR codes will be placed on homes that have been visited to ensure that there is no duplication of the census process, he said.

It will be the second time this year that the government provides financial aid to people affected by flooding in Tabasco.

About 38,000 payments of 10,000 pesos each were distributed to flood victims last month. Many of those who received the aid were also affected by this month’s severe flooding.

Tabasco Governor Adán Augusto López Hernández, who accompanied May at Wednesday’s announcement, said that funds will also be made available to repair highways, drainage systems and water treatment plants that were affected by the flooding.

There will also be resources for river dredging and other flood prevention projects, he said, and measures will be developed to help affected farmers. A multi-year plan to prevent flooding in Tabasco’s towns and cities will also be drawn up.

President López Obrador announced last week that the federal government would implement a new plan to stop recurrent flooding in Tabasco and the neighboring state of Chiapas.

The same announcement has been made in the past by previous administrations but little actually materialized.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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