Toxic sludge Continues to Affect Minas Gerais, Brazil

imageDescribed as the country’s “worst environmental catastrophe in history,”  the toxic mining sludge that was released when a dam collapsed earlier this month into the main river in Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil has reached the Atlantic Ocean.

The dam erupted on November 5  devastating two districts in the state of Minas Gerais, Bento Rodrigues and Paracatu with 60 million cubic metres of iron ore waste and contaminating the river, the region’s primary source of clean water and food.  The sludge destroyed at least five settlements before reaching Rio Doce via small streams, flattened buildings and trees and left at least 12  dead and hundreds displaced. Fishing communities also reported mass death of fish.

In times of such disasters, The Resource Foundation quickly mobilizes resources and reaches out to its local network to assess the situation as well as local needs and responses to determine where donors’ support can be best invested. The Resource Foundation partners with local non‐profit organizations that provide long‐term reconstruction and recovery assistance in areas afflicted by natural disasters. The Resource Foundation collaborates with local NGOs because they have a greater understanding of the social, cultural and economic situation, and thus can develop effective interventions. These organizations are able to quickly assess needs on the ground and develop programs that provide effective long‐term assistance so that victims can rebuild their homes, reestablish their businesses, and restore their livelihoods.

How You Can Help

Donate to the relief efforts in Brazil through the Brazil Disaster Relief Fund at TRF. Donations to The Resource Foundation in support of disaster relief in Brazil are tax deductible to the highest extent allowed by law. If you would like to contribute to the efforts, please donate here.