• Madeira River floods affect communities in Borba

    Madeira River Floods

    Images of the flooding affecting the Borba area. Photo: Borba Town Hall Facebook page

    At least ten municipalities in the Amazonas State of Brazil have been affected due to the increased rainfall and subsequent flooding of the Madeira River this month. In the municipality of Borba, where our Trocano Araretama REDD+ Project is located, the Town Hall has declared an “Emergency State” as a result of the intense situation following of these events.

    According to the Town Hall, the floods have severely affected the rural areas of Borba, causing much damage to the riverside communities that rely primarily on subsistence agriculture and rearing cattle. “It is estimated at least 1,000 families from the rural areas have been affected by the floods, and they are losing their banana, manioc and cocoa crops”, said the Mayor of Borba, José Maria da Silva Maia.

    In some flood-affected areas, it is estimated that the level of the Madeira River has been rising by 0.8 cm a day, causing the river banks to collapse. The floods have also interrupted academic activities in the area, as schools have had to close, keeping hundreds of children at home. At the moment, the biggest concern of the municipality is the high risk of infections and waterborne diseases.

    The Town Hall and with the Civil Defense Force are working closely to help the affected families. They have allocated personnel to each community to offer shelter, advice and support. “The population can be calm because the necessary measures have been taken, and all the families affected by the flood will be in a safe place”, stated the Town Hall on their Facebook page. For the moment, families from rural areas will need to be allocated in the town of Borba, until the water decreases to manageable levels again. At that point, they can return home to start gauging and repairing the damage.

    Although the floods of the Madeira River take place every year, the rain this year seems to have arrived earlier, dealing more damage as people were less prepared. Normally, the rainy season can be expected to last until May, which has raised concerns over how badly affected the communities will be until then.

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