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Brazil's Pataxo depended on a river that's now turned to mud

the National Agency for Water
Minas Gerais
National Committee
Hydrographic Basins
Al Jazeera
Corrego de Feijao
Environmental Licensing
catastrophe".The Ministry of Mines
the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources
the Atlantic Forest
World Heritage Site
the Environment and Sustainable Development
Minas Gerais University
Al Jazeera News
Al Jazeera Media Network

Josiane Rosa
Corrego de Feijao
Mia Alberti
Al Jazeera]Angoho
Al Jazeera."It's
Baskut Tuncak
Hideraldo Buch
Rodrigo Dutra de Amaral."It's
Fabio Schvartsman
Ana Cacilda Reis
pets".Cacilda Reis
Marcus Vinicius Polignano


the Atlantic Ocean

Minas Gerais
the Sao Francisco

Sao Francisco

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It's infuriating," Rosa said.The Pataxo indigenous tribe used the Paraopeba river as their main source of food and water [Mia Alberti/Al Jazeera]Angoho, the wife of the tribe's chief, said her community will "never be able to eat fish here again"."Today when I got to the river and I saw some dead chickens floating by I wanted to jump in there myself, God forgive me," she told Al Jazeera."It's completely contaminated, they killed the river. The flow of the sea of mud continues to spread several kilometers a day like a toxic train with no brakes towards the Sao Francisco and is expected to reach its mouth later this month. If contaminated by the polluted waters, "we'll see another and much bigger environmental disaster", Buch said.Six days after the dam collapse, Vale, the company that owned the Corrego de Feijao mine, announced a contingency plan to stop the residues to reach the Sao Francisco river.The company said it will monitor 210km of the Paraopeba river from the place where the toxic waste entered the stream up until where it reaches the Sao Francisco river. As of last week, the company had installed at least three "filter-like barriers" to prevent the clouded toxic waters from spreading."These barriers are installed from the surface of the water with the help of floats, all the way down to the river bed," said Vale's Environmental Licensing manager, Rodrigo Dutra de Amaral."It's like a filter where the water passes but the residues are stuck," Amaral told Al Jazeera in a statement sent by email.But officials like Hideraldo Buch accuse Vale of acting too late and worry the mining giant will follow its record of empty promises.Vale has yet to pay a fine of $100m, which includes compensation for the families of those killed or missing after the Mariana dam collapse that killed 19 people in 2015. Workers hired by Vale roam the beach collecting the cadavers and trying to rescue any still alive.Ana Cacilda Reis from the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) said she's already found "dead fishes, snakes, rodents, cows, chickens and even pets".Cacilda Reis said IBAMA's main concern is to minimise the impacts of the disaster on the biodiversity, not only in the river, but also of the local flora.The Brumadinho disaster is another blow to the survival of the rich forest, which is part of the Atlantic Forest, a UNESCO's World Heritage Site. The mud wiped out more than 290 hectares of land, including 147 hectares of green areas, according to the Secretary of State for the Environment and Sustainable Development.The massive and sudden deforestation along with the constant presence of the contaminated mud will bring serious health problems to the local populations."This mud will turn into dust that will cause breathing problems for the most affected communities", said Marcus Vinicius Polignano, professor of medicine at Minas Gerais University, FMG.Avelin, Pataxo tribePolignano told Al Jazeera some infectious diseases, normally contained inside the forested areas, can also threaten locals.

As said here by Mia Alberti