‘Without Water, There Is No Life’: Drought In Brazil’s Amazon

"MANAUS, Brazil — Communities dependent on the Amazon rainforest’s waterways are stranded without supply of fuel, food or filtered water. Dozens of river dolphins perished and washed up on shore. And thousands of lifeless fish float on the water’s surface.

These are just the first grim visions of extreme drought sweeping across Brazil’s Amazon. The historically low water levels have affected hundreds of thousands of people and wildlife and, with experts predicting the drought could last until early 2024, the problems stand to intensify.

Raimundo Silva do Carmo, 67, makes his living as a fisherman, but these days has been struggling to simply find water. Like most rural residents in Brazil’s Amazon, do Carmo typically retrieves water untreated from the biome’s abundant waterways. On Thursday morning, he was making his fourth trip of the day to fill a plastic bucket from a well dug into the cracked bed of Lake Puraquequara, just east of Amazonas state’s capital Manaus.

“It’s dreadful work, even more so when the sun is hot,” do Carmo told The Associated Press. “We use the water to drink, to bathe, to cook. Without water, there is no life.”"

Edmar Barros reports for the Associated Press October 8, 2023.

Source: AP, 10/10/2023