With support from CESE, CPT takes aid to families affected by the December floods in the south of Bahia

According to a survey carried out by the South/Southwest Bahia Pastoral Land Commission (Comissão Pastoral da Terra: CPT), in December last year, when the state was affected by strong rains that led to historic floods, more than 100 families in the city of Itambé (in the south of Bahia) lost their homes. Today, these families receive rent benefits, but have not yet returned to their homes and find it hard to provide for their basic needs.

Food is scarce and some families don’t have access to treated water, including drinking water.  Under these circumstances, the South/Southwest Bahia CPT mobilized to deliver aid to these families. Last week, 200 hygiene kits, 200 staple food baskets, 350 water filters and 50 gas vouchers were delivered to Itambé.

The activity was supported by CESE through a Swiss Solidarity project, an independent foundation created by SRG SSR, the Swiss media corporation which is dedicated to victims of disasters and conflict.  The project was supported by the Terre des Hommes Suisse and terre de hommes schweiz alliance in Brazil and by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SCD).  Families from Vitória da Conquista, Ilhéus and Encruzilhada were also on the list of beneficiaries.

According to Edilene Alves, an Advisor for the South/Southwest Bahia CPT, this support was extremely important, precisely because it arrived at a later date, while the families are still having difficulties, but the floods have dropped out of the public eye.

Based on the initial survey conducted by the South/Southwest CPT, the activity was intended to benefit more than 2700 people. But thanks to solidarity support from the local community, they were able to purchase more items and reach a greater number of families.


Support to indigenous peoples

This is the second activity CESE has supported within the project to benefit families affected by the December floods. In April, CESE and the West Region of the Indigenous Missionary Council  (Conselho Indigenista Missionário: CIMI) mobilized to help affected indigenous communities in Minas Gerais and Bahia, supporting more structural solidarity activities in the post-flooding period, particularly strengthening economic empowerment, and food and nutritional security in order to support local good living.

This included the purchase of materials for the recovery of irrigation channels and rainwater harvesting tanks; the purchase of items to run workshops in hygiene materials, bio jewellery, handicrafts and beads; the distribution of native bean, maize, manioc, pumpkin, broad bean, sesame and other seeds; and the purchase of 220 food baskets for families suffering particular food vulnerability.

The Xakriabá People, the Pataxó and the Tupinambá  from the Encanto da Patioba village received a donation of native maize, bean and gungo pea seeds. Today, these communities are harvesting the maize – the aid was essential, given that family farming is the source of these Tupinambá families’ income and food sovereignty.

With support from CESE, the CIMI West Region has carried out other initiatives, such as the delivery of 18 life jackets for indigenous families from the Tupinambá people of the Encanto da Patioba village, located on the banks of the Jequitinhonha River, in the municipality of Itapebi in the extreme south of Bahia.  These materials benefitted the entire Tupinambá community of Belmonte, particularly children.

Taking into consideration all the activities undertaken at the time, dozens of indigenous communities have been served, made up of the Xakriabá, Pataxó, Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe, Atikum, Kiriri, Tupinambá, Imboré, Kamakã, Maxakali, Pankararu-Pataxó, Aranã Caboclo and Mokuriñ peoples. In all, approximately 1200 families benefitted.

Click here to read the complete article about support to indigenous peoples in Minas Gerais and Bahia