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9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999

Section 5: Political and Socio-economic Aspects of Rainwater Catchment

Paper 5.4

Building Cisterns in Campo Alegre de Lourdes, Bahia--Living with the Brazilian Semiarid Climate

Maria Salete Pereira & Armínio de Deus Braga
CPT Copcese de Juazeiro
Juazeiro, BA, Brasil
Fax: 55 (074) 811 7825


On the eve of the 21st century, almost the entire rural population of Campo Alegre de Lourdes (Bahia) county, just like most everyone in Brazil's semiarid Northeast, lives under very precarious conditions due to the effects of the draught and the lack of water for humans, animals and agriculture.

Under these circumstances whole families are often forced to move to the next town or to other parts of Brazil. Those who decide to stay and to keep their farms and animals, often lead a life lacking many basics, sometimes going without drinking water and other basic necessities.

The official measures taken to ease the situation are often only temporary solutions. Nevertheless long-term solutions exist. The concept "alternative ways to live with the draught" is known as well as the experiences with water catchment carried out by the government organization EMBRAPA and NGOs such as CAATINGA and IRPAA.

We all know the reasons why government organizations have been incapable to deal with the phenomenon and the consequences of the draught. Therefore the farm workers of Campo Alegre de Lourdes decided to solve this problem on their own. In our paper, we will tell how these farm workers confronted this problem and the process they went through to solve it.

PDF of full document (8pp, 30kb)

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