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Primate: Hydroelectric projects to blame for Brazil flooding

Posted on: February 24, 2014 3:29 PM
A cross is submerged in the worst flooding in 70 years
Photo Credit: Odair Leal/Demotix
Related Categories: Brazil, environment

By ACNS staff

The Primate of the Episcopal Church of Brazil has blamed hydroelectric projects for major flooding that has left people isolated without access to food, water or medical supplies. 

The Most Revd Francisco de Assis da Silva, also Bishop of Santa Maria Diocese, wrote to supporters asking for international prayer and local help for those affected by flooding in Rondônia.

"The river Madeira rose up to 17m above normal," he said. "This flood has been tagged as the [worst] flood in the last 70 years...Our Anglican community in Porto Velho (capital city) share with us information that families are isolated with no food or supplies and no possibility to be attended by doctors. There are no more routes. The water took over." 

The Primate blamed the flooding, which has been declared a national emergency, on hydroelectric projects that affect the flow of the rivers.

He added that such disasters can be prevented. 

Read the full letter below translated from the original portuguese:

"Sisters and Brothers,

We share our deep concern about the serious situation of the people in Rondônia following the floods last week. The river Madeira rose up to 17m above normal.

This flood has been tagged as the biggest flood in the last 70 years. It has caused lots of damage and loss for the people. Many had nowhere else to go and the economy in the region has been severely affected.

Our Anglican community in Porto Velho (capital city) have shared with us that families are isolated with no food or supplies and no possibility to be attended by doctors. There are no more routes. The water has taken over. The families and their children are isolated because of it. Hunting and fishing are compromised. Our Anglican Mission Moriá, with 36 families, live along the bank of the Rivers Garça and Candeias and they are dangerously affected too.

I call all our Church to pray for the region and the people in that situation and, where it is possible to collect food supplies, clothes and medicines, to help the families [with these]. I make an appeal also to our international partners to support these initiatives of emergency aid via our Provincial Office and by being in contact with our local leaders in Porto Velho (Capital City of Rondonia), where we are present in two communities.

Unfortunately [such disasters] are becoming usual each day in our country. The big hydroelectrics projects are responsible for deeply damaging our rivers, causing changes to their natural pluvial flux. And we all know this is absolutely possible to prevent. Our prayers go out to our sisters and brothers in this part of the missionary district.

As the one responsible for taking care of this flock, I offer my full solidarity to the riverside people and the solidarity of all our Church!

In the love of Christ
++ Francisco de Assis da Silva
Primaz do Brasil e diocesano em Santa Maria"