- Title: Bolivia environment minister resigns amid historic drought
- Date: 19th January 2017
- Summary: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (RECENT - NOVEMBER 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AJUAN KHOTA RESERVES COMPLETELY DRY VARIOUS OF WATER TANKS INSTALLED IN DIFFERENT NEIGHBOURHOODS, LOCALS COLLECTING WATER VARIOUS OF PUMP PROVIDING WATER TO RESIDENTS
- Embargoed: 2nd February 2017 17:13
- Keywords: Bolivia drought Alexandra Moreira environment minister resignation
- Location: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Droughts,Disaster/Accidents
- Reuters ID: LVA0025ZR04ZN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Bolivia's Environment and Water Minister Alexandra Moreira resigned on Wednesday (January 18) before she was scheduled to testify in front of the country's legislative assembly about shortages of potable water amid the country's worst drought in 25 years.
Moreira, an ally of socialist President Evo Morales, has been harshly criticised for her handling of the water crisis by civil society groups, the opposition, and even ruling party lawmakers.
"Regarding the management of the (drought), there has been talk of a collective meeting to present (measures) on behalf of the ministers. However, I have decided to present my personal resignation so that the position remains open. In this respect you know that I have indicated once more that I remained in my position with the objective of dealing in the best way possible with the emergency that emerged," Moreira said on Wednesday.
She had been expected to testify about a water rationing programme that has been in place in hundreds of La Paz neighbourhoods since November. The opposition called her resignation a "political game," claiming that she stepped down to avoid being censured by the legislative assembly.
The South American country declared a state of emergency due to the drought in November, after residents of El Alto, near La Paz, briefly held authorities with a local water-distribution company hostage to demand the government explain its plans to mitigate the shortage.
The drought has prompted protests in major cities and conflicts between miners and farmers over the use of aquifers.
It was also followed by outbursts of torrential rains and massive flooding which swept the country and left eight dead. Bolivia's national weather service issued an orange alert in December for five areas in the west of the country.
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