Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Heavy rains leave Brazil’s indigenous group homeless again

Three years ago, the collapse of the Telling Dam in an iron ore mine forced members of the Pataxo-Hahahe tribe to move their homes to higher ground.

Now, the Paraopeba River, overflowing with rain, has flooded their new village and made them homeless again.

About 50 members of the Pataxo-hahahe tribe have taken refuge in a local school, but their homes in the village of Nao Zoha have been contaminated by the dirty water from the river.

“We lost homes. We lost bathrooms. We lost our medical center. We lost furniture. Our community is flooded,” chief Tsukupira Pataxo-hahahe said on Wednesday. “It makes your heart bleed.

A house is seen in a flooded area after rain in Mario Campos in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais on January 12, 2022.

“Ore-contaminated water has flooded our homes and backyards. We have no way of living there now. We have too many children,” he said.

The mining sector in the state of Minas Gerais in southeast Brazil has been hit by heavy rain for the past two weeks, flooding dams and flooding towns and roads. More than 20 people have died.

In January 2019, a dam collapsed at a mine near Brumdinho, owned by giant miner Vale SA, causing the mine’s cafeteria and crashing through burial houses and farms, killing 270 people.

No Pataxo-hahahe died in the disaster. But miles downstream, their lifestyle became unsustainable on the banks of the polluted river, where they bathed, washed their clothes and fished for their main sources of food.

The village had 80 residents at the time, who had to uproot everything and move to safer ground 30 meters (98 ft) from the river. Now that new site is under water.

“It’s so sad to see this happen again,” said Marina Patakso-hahahe, looking at her flooded backyard.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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