In Photos: Drought in Brazil’s Sertão Region

Posted in: Drinking Water News, Drought, Global Water News, Water Crisis
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In central Pernambuco, A young cowboy finishes a beer during the Feast of São José. He has traveled several kilometers on horseback so not to miss one of the most important festivals of the year, which is dedicated to the tradition of the vaqueiros.

Article courtesy of Vice News | June 8, 2015 | Vice News | Shared as educational material

The state of São Paulo is experiencing its worst drought in decades. Reservoirs that millions of people rely upon for drinking water are running dry and outbreaks of dengue fever have brought about an acute public health crisis.

But another region of Brazil is experiencing drought, although it has largely gone unnoticed compared to the crisis in the more populous southeast. The Sertão region, which includes parts of several states in the country’s northeast, is semi-arid, but typically produces millions of tons of crops and hosts millions of head of goats, sheep, and cows.

Like São Paulo, the Sertão has been devastated. And with El Niño conditions forming in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the situation could become worse.

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A child explores what remains of an artificial lake near his home in Pernambuco, a state in the northeast of Brazil. Photo Credit: Alessandro Falco

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A mother attempts to sow seeds in the dry and rocky soil of Brazil’s northeast. Photo Credit: Alessandro Falco

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Workers unload a truckload of drinking water in Sertânia, Pernambuco, a state in the northeast of Brazil. Photo Credit: Alessandro Falco

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Zezé de Sirley recovers a calf in the scrublands of Brazil’s northeast. He is helped by his son Jenailton, who left school to follow his father’s path. Cow herding goes back generations in the family and vaqueiros like Zezé are a defining characteristic of the region’s culture. Photo Credit: Alessandro Falco

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In 1998, one hundred and twenty families from Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement occupied this once fertile piece of land in Pernambuco. Since 2001, though, the Pajeú River has ceased to feed the reservoir that the settlers rely upon to irrigate their fields.  Photo Credit: Alessandro Falco

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A goat named Bido is the main attraction at a circus in the city of Ouricuri, Pernambuco. The goat is considered “King of Sertão” because of its high tolerance to drought conditions. Photo Credit: Alessandro Falco

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Young boys bathe in a tank of rainwater on the border between Pernambuco and Paraíba, which lies to the north. Photo Credit: Alessandro Falco

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