A Raging River

Photo retrieved from: www.amazonwatch.org

“As the Brazil government pursues its reckless plans to build mega-dams on major Amazonian rivers like the Xingu and Madeira, we can expect to see their catastrophic social and environmental consequences continue to befall local communities. This article highlights how the construction of the Santo Antônio dam of Brazil’s Madeira River Complex in the Amazonian state of Rondônia has unleashed the river’s destructive powers, swallowing a riverside community in the city of Porto Velho. It also shows how these dams decimate the abundant fish species that are so crucial to local food security and livelihoods while uprooting thousands of people from their homes.

Two days before the start of tests on the first turbine of the Santo Antônio hydroelectric dam [on the Madeira River] in Rondônia, the phone rang in the home of fisherwoman Maria Iêsa Reis Lima. “It’s going to start”, warned a friend who worked on the dam’s construction. Iêsa sat on the porch, poised to observe the waters, awaiting what she knew would be an irreversible change. “The Madeira River is dangerous, it demands respect. The engineers say that they have all the technology, but nothing controls the reaction of this river.”

This is sadly just one of the stories emerging from dam-ravaged communities in the Amazon, one we will see repeated many times over if Brazil continues to pursue its disastrous plans for the region’s rivers.”

Read more: Amazon Watch


 

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