Disaster in Brumadinho, Brazil

  • Mother Nature is inevitable and comes to those who forget the basic principles of faith.
  • Brazil’s fatal dam calamity may have been averted according to leading experts and other humanitarian organizations, but still, it is a long way before arriving at conclusive measures.
  • Developing Our world aims to inoculate holistic community development into an executable plan.
  • Volunteers are doing an extremely wonderful job by making them psychologically strong. Just by talking, providing aid, listening to the stranded villagers the process of mental recovery is fueled as a catalyst through motivation.

Aid in the holy doctrine that wrath of Mother Nature is inevitable and comes to those who forget the basic principles of faith. Nonetheless, whatever happened in Brumadinho, Brazil cannot be overlooked or simply ignored. Consequently close to hundred have been reported dead and about three hundred missing in this silhouette of catastrophe – wiping out the whole village of Brumadinho. This is so far the causalities that have been quantified on an estimated basis, and more is yet to come. Nevertheless, whether it was due to the poor quality of raw material (to save cost) used in the construction of this dam or it was a genuine tragedy, the scope of recovering from the destitute cannot be objectified. Many organizations, such as “Developing Our World” and their associated partners have managed to gather a formidable task force of volunteers and at the same time collate enough aids for those affected by this unforeseen tragedy.

Brazil’s fatal dam calamity may have been averted according to leading experts and other humanitarian organizations, but still, it is a long way before arriving at conclusive measures. About three to four years back in the month of November a similar incident also paved its way in Mariana on the Fundão Dam, where the ousted toxic sludge resulted in not only killing 19 people but was also responsible in leveling the village (Mariana) and leaving thousands of people stranded without any home or shelter. It must not be forgotten that this incident is not taken lightly by the socio-environmental fraternity and a substantial chunk of the mining sector will eventually get the brunt. Brazil acknowledged this calamity as one of the country’s biggest adversities in the mining industry.

Thereafter on January 25, 2019, about seventy-five miles from the area of Mariana, another tragedy knocked the doors on the State of Minas Gerais. Though it has just been a few days since the incident, however complete magnitude of the tragedy is still yet to be assessed. Right now the figures that have been reported that about eighty plus people have been reported dead and close to three hundred are missing as we speak. The number of dead people had been ascertained by pulling out their bodies from the tailing storage ramp of the Córrego do Feijão Mine.

Speaking with regards to the infrastructure of the dam, it is actually a mining dam, which stores the wastage material from the mines in a mud formulation that can also be referred to as tailings. When the sludge, in the form of tailings, could not withstand thousands and thousands of gallons in the form of mud, the dam can wreak havoc. In its way, it leashed hell on the nearby population and villages. Consequently, people were found dead in the mud tailings, some are missing, and many small villages just vanished from the surface of the earth.

Although the government of Brazil and related ministry have imposed a penalty of a quarter of millions of reals ($66 million) on the mining company of not complying with five various regulations. But Developing Our World cannot bring back the past or what is lost forever. However, it has taken it as a responsibility to help those who are in need. The salvage is a quantum of people from the nearby villages, who not only have access to shelter and roof but are also deprived of food and clean drinking water. In light of the reason mentioned above and unforeseen adversity, the latest initiative undertaken by Developing Our World is customized to provide utmost assistance to those in perils and destitute because of this dam rupture. Their volunteers are doing an extremely wonderful job by making them psychologically strong. Just by talking, providing aid, listening to the stranded villagers the process of mental recovery is fueled as a catalyst through motivation. The volunteers in Brumadinho are leaving no stone unturned when speaking of untiring efforts. They are ensuring that people get the best possible resources. Not only we are providing free shelter, but also food, clean drinking water, healthcare and mental fitness care to the victims. All the volunteers are focusing on just one element, and that is to bring aid to all the victims, in association with Acolhimento, Desenvolvimento, Oração, Testemunho e Equipando (ADOTE). Translation: Welcoming, Development, Prayer, Witness and Equipping.

Developing Our world aims to inoculate holistic community development into an executable plan. What we imply by stressing holistic community is to bring all dam-affected victims under one platform whereby community members can come together to take collective actions and generate solutions to common problems. Community well-being (spiritual, physical, social, economic, educational, environmental, athletic, and cultural) evolves from collective actions being taken at a grassroots level. Its scope could range from small initiatives within a small group or to large initiatives that involve the broader community. We ensure that they are provided with the best kind of means available out there. We try to make them feel at home as much as possible.

When a natural calamity or a manmade disaster happened, such as Brumadinho in Brazil, hit the land and people nearby, Developing Our world was not a mere spectator. Developing Our World seeks to situate holistic community development into an exercise in relief, rehabilitation, and development after a natural disaster. Developing Our World offers both spiritual and physical care. We provide recommendations for the affected people as well as for the volunteers who want to collaborate with us. The aftermath of the dam has led us to believe that we require the following:

  • Clean Drinking Water (bottled), rehydration drinks, vegetable stew, noodles, oatmeal, boxed fresh milk, preservatives, baby food, juices, napkins, toothpaste, baby bottles, toilet paper, diapers for children and seniors, alcohol, cotton, gauze, sheets and blankets, clothing, among others.
  • We also recommend you to donate canned fish, which may be anchovy, tuna, mackerel or bonito as well as preserved vegetables and fruit. It is important that these containers have open-easy. It is also recommended to donate packaged nuts, soda crackers, water biscuits or vanilla cookies. With these products, you can cover your nutritional needs.
  • To collaborate with a clean environment for the affected people in the absence of water, and with the aim of preventing diseases, they can deliver disinfectant gel and wet towels, sunscreens, liquid serums, disinfectants for water (chlorine, bleach, among others) and repellents, because mosquitoes appear in greater quantity. These elements are essential.
  • Doctors are the only ones who can prescribe medication. Therefore, only those symptomatic that can be found in a medicine cabinet, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, anti-inflammatories, stomach pain pills, should be delivered. Also useful are antiseptics such as alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, gauzes for the healing of wounds and scrapes that may have occurred.
  • Reconstruction is also an important point, and as the need of it develops, the donation of calamine, calamine nails, plastic coils, to build temporary homes is valuable.
  • If you are going to volunteer, you must take into account the shortage and the conditions of the area. You have to bring enough water for your own consumption, in addition to being in good physical condition and, above all, healthy. It should be remembered that in a situation of this type, contagions are frequent so they should not be exposed to the affected people. Developing Our World sends short-term teams, which are a group of volunteers to accomplish holistic community development.
  • Never write a check or make a transfer in the name of an individual requesting a donation, always do so in the name of a registered not for profit organization in which you can be sure that your support is used in a good way.

This disaster is gathering more and more moss as it rolls down the hill. In addition to the government’s firefighter are an existing team of volunteers are lending a helping hand, but we apprehend that it may fall short. Although many other organizations are making their camps but come to realize of it the cumulating mass of disaster is yet to reach its pinnacle. According to some locals that they have never witnessed such adversity in their lifetime. Eye witnesses can only gather red mud all over the place. It is very hard for them to digest, but the chances of finding any survivors are very low.

The village is inundated with the toxic sludge, as a matter of fact, completely buried. Developing Our World has a network with established networks in Brazil are making headways for disaster relief efforts and other projects. We have partners all over the world that we work with. Likewise in Brazil, there are other partnerships already established for disaster relief efforts and other projects.

Colombia – Asociación Luterana de Desarrollo Orientado (ALDO). Translation: Lutheran Association of Oriented Development.

Guatemala – Asociación Nacional de Desarrollo Absoluto y Responsable (ANDAR). Translation: National Association of Absolute and Responsible Development.

Nicaragua: Asociación de Desarrollo Absoluto, Integral y Responsable (ADAIR). Translation: Association of Absolute, Integral and Responsible Development.

According to senior officials in Brazil, the death count of is expected to increase by huge quantum. In the first two days, rescuers were still optimistic as they were able to pull out some of the survivors from the divulged red mud, however yesterday and today there has been no news on the rescue mission. The primary purpose of why these efforts are slow is because of the thick viscosity of the red mud of toxic tailing. It is estimated that the depth of the mud is close to twenty-four feet, which is compelling the rescue teams and volunteers to walk around the breaches because one wrong foot and you might be at the mercy of the quicksand. More than 100 Israelis rescue teams are fortified with specialized rescue technology and have already teamed up with the 200 Brazilian firefighters in this catastrophic search.

Acres of water-drenched mud seems to be desiccating into dry land, which could assist the rescue teams to get to those unreachable places that they had gone previously. Nonetheless, the efforts are going slow for the entire teams. It is estimated that about 250,000 victims are left stranded in open airs and each family is praying for a miracle. They are found holding out their hands in an open field in the hope of some respite. Developing Our World is the answer to the prayers, and it is trying its best of not letting those prayers unanswered. We stand beside our mission statement and values. We are and will come to the aid of those who require beyond tangible measures.

Just imagine, the destruction of the dam was horrific and sudden that all the eight alarms were of no use at the time of the breach. All these quarter of a million people are deprived of clean drinking water. The toxic sludge killed thousands of fishes and other livestock. Some of the leading experts are of the opinion that the breach has allowed about 60 million cubic meters of the toxic red mud to get mixed up in the nearby flowing rivers and eventually ending into the Atlantic Ocean.

This is just not a natural disaster. In fact, it is a failure of political-institutional failure. The mining village of Brumadinho and its inhabitants may not see the light that once shown upon their dwelling. No matter how much penalty and compensation can the government of Brazil and the mining company can contribute to the losses, but it will never replace the memories that they have lost with their loved ones.

Brazil’s primary core resource is mining of iron ore, which is why this industry has been in the eagle eye of the government’s ministry. Huge reforms and socio-environmental factors are presented to regulate this sector. Nearly all the industries have to comply with all the aspects.

To encapsulate it all, the tragedy of Brumadinho is just the beginning of the disaster. As days and weeks go by, people are trying to adjust themselves mentally and stay physically strong. The worse is yet to come, but the damage can be minimized to a great extent. If you are reading this article and would want to contribute something of considerate value, but are physically bound, you can always contribute sincerely to “Developing Our World” and be a part of our holistic community.

Miguel Torneire

B. Div, Bachelor of Theology, and M. A. in Outreach, as the founder and the Executive Director of Developing Our World, an organization that seeks to put holistic community development into action. He loves Jesus! And, as a husband, a father, a Pastor, a Missionary, an Author, a flamenguista, and a BJJ practitioner. 


One thought to “Disaster in Brumadinho, Brazil”

  1. This was a very tragic event, but because it was in Brazil, almost no one is covering this in our news.

    A thousand have lost their homes, 350 missing and most feared to be dead and no one covers it, that is shameful.

    Thank you Miguel to bring this to our community.
    .

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