ACT Alliance Rapid Response Fund Payment for floods in Brazil

by Elisabeth Gouel | | ACT Alliance - Switzerland
Wednesday, 2 July 2014 16:31 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Rapid Response Fund Payment Request No. 10/2014

Funds Sent To: Lutheran Foundation of Diaconia - FLD

Amount Sent: US$ 59,972        

Date: 1 July 2014    

Details of Response

Emergency: Floods in Indigenous territories in Brazil    

Date of Emergency: 16 June onwards

ACT Requesting Member: Lutheran Foundation of Diaconia - FLD


From 16 June 2014 continuous torrential rains and severe flooding have affected the Indigenous people Xokleng-Laklãnõ in Santa Catarina state, closed to the North Dam of the Itajaí-Açu River, in the southern Brazilian region. The North Dam, located in the indigenous territory, is one of the three dams that control the water flow to the Valley do Itajaí and main responsible for the floods in this territory . This valley has an urban area of 689.909 inhabitants (Brazilian institute of census and geography, IBGE/2010).

The indigenous territory Xokleng-Laklãnõ is composed by nine communities, where 640 families have their houses, social centers, schools and health facilities. Due to the floods, four communities remain isolated, four main roads are closed and seven communities still do not have full access to water and food. The preliminary assessments have reported damages to 30 houses, children do not have access to schools due to disruption in transport facilities and most of the adults, who earn daily wages, are unable to attend their work. The Brazilian Meteorological Service forecast has sent a warning for heavy rains in the next days.

These communities have been struggling to resolve their vulnerability created by the construction of a dam in 1992 in their land reservoir, locking up the Hercílio River and splitting the community in many small villages and exposing them to floods. The Federal and State governments were condemned in 2007 by a legal resolution due to the impacts caused by this construction but still there is no compliance from the government. There is a huge need for visibility of the situation, to bring the attention of different human rights organisations and the Federal Prosecution Office.

In this context, there is a lack of support from the local government and the displaced people were forced to build makeshift shelters. The State Civil Defense was late to deliver food and basic supplies; even they did not allow using their boats to take the supplies to the isolated areas.

The Council for Mission of Indigenous People - COMIN, Lutheran Foundation of Diaconia -FLD's strategic partner, is working in this indigenous territory. A network set up by COMIN, with churches, non-church organizations, groups from the local university, along with less affected indigenous communities, are trying to provide assistance with food, water, clothes and other basic supplies. However, this is not enough to match the current needs. There is the need for nutritional care in emergencies so it will be included meat and maize flour in the food kits as these important items in the indigenous dietary are not being met through the local solidarity efforts.

200 indigenous people have occupied the North Dam since this last flood, demanding to the Federal and State governments the compliance with the legal resolution from 2007.  COMIN and other organizations are supporting this action but there is a need for planning and implementing an advocacy action plan together with the indigenous leaders and various stakeholders to find sustainable solution for this situation.


Provide support to 400 Xokleng-Laklãnõ’s families, to overcome the impact of flooding in its territory.

1.    To ensure 400 families have food security during 3 months, through the distribution of 800 rations of protein (meat) and corn meal (corn maize) in addition to what has been distributed via local efforts.
2.    To ensure nine communities have access to water with 9 wells.
3.    30 families will have their roofs repaired.
4.    200 mattresses will be provided.
5.    A boat will be provided to the affected communities to allow their mobility.
6.    To provide capacity building on Psychosocial Support.
7.    Develop an advocacy plan for the communities’ mobilization

1. To ensure 400 families have food security during 3 months, through the distribution of 800 rations of protein (meat) and corn meal (maize flour).
•    To distribute 800  kits of food
•    400 kits distributed until the end of month 2
2. To ensure nine communities have access to water with 9 wells.
•    To build 9 wells/ reservoirs and provide some reforms in the water system
•    6 wells/reservoirs ready for use until the end of month 3
3. 30 families will have their roofs repaired.
•    To hire a bricklayer/repair the roof of 30 houses
•    20 houses repaired until the end of month 3
4. 200 mattresses will be provided.
5. A boat will be provided for the affected communities to allow communities mobility
•    To buy a boat and lifesaving jackets and equipment
6. To provide capacity building on Psychosocial Support and disaster response.
•    To develop 2 workshops with local leaders
•    A permanent/local emergency committee  created until the end of the response
7. Develop an advocacy plan for the communities’ mobilization.
•    Meetings with community leaders to prepare and implement an advocacy action plan based on  a strongly human rights approach including climate change justice and environment protection components
•    Bilateral e multilateral cooperation with various partners (churches, ACT members in Brazil, human rights councils at state and national levels)

This activity will be funding by COMIN, FLD, and other local stakeholders.

For the full RRF document, please click here.