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Indigenous peoples of the Amazon ask Brazil to declare a climate emergency

Indigenous peoples of the Amazon ask Brazil to declare a climate emergency

indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon They asked the Brazilian government to declare a climate emergencyas their villages do not have clean water, food or medicine due to serious drought that is drying up rivers vital for travel on the jungle, its leaders said Tuesday.

The drought and heat wave have killed masses of fish in the rivers where indigenous people live and the water in the muddy streams and tributaries of the Amazon River can no longer be drunk, said the organization APIAM, which represents to 63 tribes of the Amazon.

“We call on the government to declare a climate emergency to urgently address the vulnerability to which indigenous peoples are exposed,” APIAM urged in a statement released at a press conference.

The Río Negro, Solimoes, Madeira, Jurua and Purus watersheds are drying at a record rate and forest fires are destroying the rainforest in new areas in the lower Amazon, APIAM said in a statement.

Environment Minister Marina Silva told Reuters last month that the government is preparing a task force to provide emergency assistance to the drought-stricken Amazon region. Tens of thousands of food packages have been sent to communities isolated by the lack of river transportation.

The region is under pressure from the El Niño climate phenomenon, which has generated a volume of rainfall in the northern Amazon below the historical average.

The most serious problem for indigenous communities that do not have running water is sanitation, now that the river waters cannot be drunk, said APIAM coordinator Mariazinha Bare.

“The smaller rivers have dried up and turned into mud,” Bare said in an interview. “Indigenous people have to walk long distances in the jungle to find drinking water and the poor quality of the water makes people sick.”

Impenetrable rivers have made it difficult for medical assistance to reach Amazon villages, Bare said, and rain is not expected until late November or early December, when the waterways and their fish populations normally replenish.

The Madeira River, to the southwest, is no longer navigable in its upper reaches, isolating indigenous villages and non-indigenous communities that depend on harvesting fruit in the jungle but cannot get their products out.

Ivaneide Bandeira, who heads the Kaninde indigenous organization in Rondonia state, said isolated non-indigenous communities were asking indigenous villages for food.

He explained that the smoke from forest fires is worse than ever, aggravating the climate crisis and affecting the health of the elderly and children.

“It is not just the El Niño phenomenon. “Deforestation continues with these fires”he said over the phone. “Agricultural progress does not stop. “They are destroying everything, as if they don’t see what is happening to nature,” he claimed.

Source: Reuters.

Source: Gestion

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