Reunião do Comitê da Bacia Hidrográfica do Rio Pajeú

Onde o rio deveria passar pelo centro da comunidade, Poço do Serrote

Hoje assisti uma reunião do Comitê de Bacia Hidrográfica do Rio Pajeú, que consiste de membros da sociedade civil, empresas privadas, corpos governamentais e os sindicatos de trabalhadores da região. Essa mistura varieda de pessoas e intereses residem para tomar decisões enquanto o manejo da agua da bacia do Rio Pajeú. Num momento assim, aos princípios duma seca tão grave, é um gran privilegio ter a opportunidade assistir tal reunião.

Dos assuntos para ser discutidos hoje, o que para mim foi o mais destacado foi o tratamento da seca em si, e também a concientização do público nesse período, e a importância do tal.

Parece ter bastante polémica sobre a utilização da agua na barragem Cachoeira 2 na operação pipa. A operação pipa é uma iniciativa em efeito aqui no Sertão para encher as cisternas das pessoas mais necessitadas aqui na região agora, para que têm água para beber e cozinhar. Ja mencionei noutro artigo, e só deixou o prazo para pedir até o fim do mes de Junho, depois de isso não oferecem mais.

Na reunião houve uma confusão sobre uma publicação que expôs água suficiente até 2014. Seja publicado ou não, essa informação, todos concordaram, é completamente errada, e o que sim é necessário é uma análise da demanda de água, a quantidade consumida nos últimos meses, a quantidade ainda resindo no açude, e uma tasa de evaporação para os próximos meses. A questão de evaporação é particularmente pertinente nesse caso.
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Enquanto a demanda, uma preocupação grande do comitê é que a população urbana, em particular, segue sem ajustar o seu comportamento em relação de água, para enfrentar essa seca. Efectivamente, eles continuam como normal – molham a rua todos os dias para diminuir a poeira, por exemplo, embora isso desperdicia litros e litros de água, quando outras pessoas nem tem água suficiente para suas vidas diárias.

As vezes foi difícil chegar a conclusões nessa reunião. Como já imagino que comprende, um comitê com tanta variedade de membros nunca vai ser fácil chegar aos acordos. Não obstante, foi combinado organizar uma reunião para falar dos assuntos principais dessa seca actual, incluindo a questão de começar uma campanha de conscientização para o público para tentar reduzir a demande de água, e ajudar ao povo utilizar a água com mais prudencia. Outro objectivo da reunião seria reunir pessoas chaves enquanto a disponibilidade da água, e dar-lhes informações sobre volumen total da água, tasa de evaporação, análises sobre a qualidade de água e mais para poder melhor informar e depois tomar os passes mais apropriados para enfrentar a crise de água.

Por mim, tanto o conteúdo da reunião quanto simplesmente a presencia ali, fez com que fosse um dia muito interessante. A oportunidade de ver as interações entre os indivíduos presentes e as opiniões das entidades diferentes foi muito interessante. Foi uma experiência muito boa.


Pajeú Riverbasin Committee Meeting

Today I went to a meeting of the Pajeú Riverbasin Committee. The committee is made up of members of civil society, private companies, governmental bodies and workers’ unions in the region. This varied mix of people, all with their own interests, meet to make decisions about the management of the water in the Pajeú Riverbasin. At a time like this, at the beginning of such a severe drought, it was a great honour to be able to attend the meeting.

Of the topics that were on the agenda today, for me what stood out was the discussion regarding how to deal with the drought itself, and also the importance of raising public awareness during this time, and the importance of this.

There seems to be quite a lot of controversy surrounding the use of water from the Cachoeira 2 reservoir in operação pipa. Operação pipa is an initiative in effect here in the Sertão to fill the cisterns of people in most need now, so that they have water to drink and cook with. I already mentioned this in another post. The initiative is only available until the end of June, after this there will be no more offers.

The CEO sildenafil 100mg viagra never could decide which direction he wanted to commit to. Instead of getting ready to troubleshoot your xbox 360, simply try to turn off the power and then switch it back on. cheap viagra levitra But when you super cialis cheap are purchase Kamagra oral jelly make sure that you purchase it from a good intimate time for many years now. The major sildenafil delivery ingredient of this capsule, that is, Salabmisri helps improve the sperm quality and the sperm quantity. In the meeting there was a great confusion over a publication that claimed the area had enough water to supply the region until 2014. Whether published or not, this information, everyone agreed, is completely wrong. It was agreed that full analyses of water demand, quantity consumed in recent months, quantity left in the reservoir, and a evaporation rate for the coming months. The question of evaporation is particularly relevant in this case, given the extremely high evaporation suffered in the region.

As regards the demand, a great concern of the committee is that the urban population, in particular, are continuing about their lives without adjusting their behaviour in relation to the current water situation, the drought. They are essentially continuing as normal – watering the streets to reduce dust every day, for example, something that wastes many litres of water, when others don’t have water to eat and drink.

At times you could see the difficulties in reaching conclusions in this meeting. As I am sure you understand, a committee with such a variety of members will always find it difficult to come to agreements. However, it was agreed that a meeting was necessary to speak about the main points about the current drought, including the use of a campaign to raise public awareness about the drought with the aim of reducing water demand, and to help people use water wisely. Another objective of the meeting would be to unite the key players as regards water availability, and give them information about the total volume of water, evaporation rates, water quality analyses, and other information to be able to leave them better informed and then take the best steps to face the drought.

For me, it was the content of the meeting as much as the opportunity to see the interactions between the individuals present and the opinions of different entities that made the experience for me. It was a great experience.

Water in the Sertão

We arrived in the Sertão at the beginning of the worst drought the region has seen for the last 40 years. “Winter”, as the rainy season is called here, did not arrive this year. This part of the year, up until July, is typically the coolest time of year, with the main part of the rainy season over (January to March), but still with sporadic rainfall. However, this has not been the case. There have been two instances of rain since our arrival at the end of April, none of which strong enough to spur any plant growth. This has meant that the work being done here has taken on a different focus to a normal year at this time.

For us, coming from England where there are drought warnings despite nearly a month of continuous rain, this has brought around quite a dramatic change in our perceptions of water. Even within the community there are great differences in water access from one family to another. Whilst the house in which I am staying has a personal well – solely supplying this house – most of the other wells supply up to 10-11 houses. Due to the drought, IPA (The Pernambucan Agronomy Institute) has been offering to fill the people´s cisterns that have already run dry. To explain, these cisterns are built out of concrete slabs, with a 16,000 litre capacity to capture and store rain water for drinking and cooking. However, this does not solve


the problem of having water for irrigation, which means that most families have not planted many crops this year, often just trying to maintain their vegetable patches, in which they are still fighting a battle to keep what they have alive. Also, due to the amount of people in need of water, the waiting list for the refill is long. According to the Assembly held at the Rural Workers Union at Serra Talhada on 4th June, there is only enough water to keep refilling people’s cisterns for the next 30 days. After this there will be no more.

Another problem that is worsened during the drought is that the effluent from Serra Talhada is all released into the Pajeú River

, the river that runs through the middle of the community. Many people rely on this water for irrigation purposes, wash clothes and other uses. As the water supply diminishes, the effluent becomes more concentrated. This can cause health problems for the people living here. The fight for the clean-up of the river will be mentioned in a later article.
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A source of water for the people here are wells. There are various types of well, one which is a deeper well, called an artesian well, which supplies groundwater. The other one is called a amazonas well, which is shallow, and supplies water from the river. The worry at this time is that these wells will dry up and leave people with one less source of water.

This Wednesday, 30th May, the group of volunteers went with CECOR to witness the signing of the launch of the project “Pernambuco mais Produtivo” (To a More Productive Pernambuco). This project promises to build 15.5 thousand “calçadão” cisterns across the area of Pernambuco, one of the ways of capturing rainwater for use here in the Sertão. CECOR won Lot 2, one of the Sertão areas, which covers various areas, including the municipalities of Calumbi, Flores, Santa Cruz de Baixa Verde, Sertânia and Triunfo. In these areas 3,775 thousand “calçadão” cisterns and 20 “lined water pits” (barreiros lonados) are going to be built.

This project is going to help the people of the Pernambucan Sertão and the Agreste to better utilise rainwater, given that the pavement area increases the capture area for water (200 square metres). The cistern has a 52 thousand litre capacity, which needs 300 millimetres of rainwater to fill the water tank. It was the Governor, Eduardo Campos, who arrived to sign the project launch. These cisterns are a way of counteracting the problem of lack of water for crop irrigation, and therefore will help the Sertanejan people to better live with drought in the future.

During this period of drought it is important to keep planning for the future to be better prepared for these situations in the future. Investment in projects like the one above demonstrates a positive tendency in the Sertão on the part of the Government to support the Sertanejan people in their living with their surroundings.

On a more personal note, it was also very interesting to attend such an event, and to learn a bit more about how things work here in Brazil, on an official level.

Agua no Sertão


Chegamos ao Sertão ao princípio da pior seca das últimas décadas aqui em Pernambuco. O Inverno não chegou este ano, e por consequencia as actividades das familias de Poço do Serrote têm um enfoque diferente do que um ano normal.

Para nós, vindo da Inglaterra onde actualmente estão falando da seca a pesar de quase um mês de chuva contínua, esta experiência nos da uma nova apreciação de água.Mesmo dentro da comunidade se pode ver uma grande variação no aceso ao água. Por exemplo, a casa na qual estou hospedada  tem uma posição muito privilegiada – tem um poço proprio à casa, enquanto as outras casas em geral parecem ter um poço para 10-11 casas.


Devido à seca, o IPA (Instituição de Agricultura Pernambucano) está ofrecendo enchear as cisternas das pess
oas quem já estão ficando sem água de cisterna (que se utiliza para beber e cozinhar). Isso é uma gran ajuda, não obstante não resolve a solução da agua para os cultivos, outros usos domesticos e mais. Também, devido à demanda, a espera pode chegar a ser bastante longa.

Outro problema que se agrava durante tempo de seca é no facto de os esgotos de Serra Talhada são vertidos no Rio Pajeú, o rio que passa pelo centro da comunidade. Muitas pessoas conta

m com essa agua para beber, lavar roupa, e mais. Quanto menos agua, quanto mais concentrado são estos esgotos. Isso causa problemas para a saúde das pessoas. A luta para a limpeza do rio vou falar noutro blog.

Uma fonte de agua para as pessoas da comunidade são poços. Há varios tipos de poço, um mais profundo, que aceda a agua do subsolo (poço artesiano), e menos profundo que aceda agua do rio (poço amazonas).

Nesta quarta-feira o grupo de voluntários fomos com o CECOR à assinatura dum ato, do Projeto “Pernambuco mais Produtivo”,  comprometendo an construção de 15,5 mil cisternas de calçadão na extensão do Pernambuco, uma maneira de aproveitar da agua da chuva aqui no Sertão. O CECOR ganhou o Lote 2, do Sertão, que cubre varias regiões, incluindo os municípios de Calumbi, Flores, Santa Cruz de Baixa Verde, Sertânia e Triunfo. Ali vai ser construídos 3.775 mil cisternas de calçadão e 20 barreiros lonados.

Este projeto vai ajudar às pessoas do Sertão e Agreste Pernambucano aproveitar melhor da agua de chuva, dado que a calçadão tem uma area maior de captação (de 200 metros quadrados). A cisterna tem uma capacidade de 52 mil litros, a qual se precisa cerca de 300 milímetros de chuva para encher o reservatório. Foi o Governador, Eduardo Campos, quem chegou para falar à gente e assinar o ato.

Nesse período de seca é muito importante seguir planejando para o futuro para melhor preparar para tales instantes no futuro. O investimento nesses projetos demostram uma tendencia positiva no Sertão, do apoio do Governo para o povo sertanejo.

É um tema tão amplio que não da cobrir todo num só artigo. Espero ter os relatos pessoais dos voluntários sobre o impacto neles da escassez de água aqui no Poço do Serrote, e também entrar em mais detalhe sobre as cisternas de calçadão.

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Making hay while the sun shines…

On Thursday 18th May we all attended a workshop ran by IPA (the Pernambuco Agronomer’s Institute), on the conservation of fodder. This is one of the many workshops that are offered to farmers in the area to arm them with the necessary knowledge to best live in the Semi-Arid region and face up to the realities here. It was an interesting day, in which we all learned a lot. It was also good to meet people from other local communities and speak to them about their work and knowledge.

Silage and haymaking

The importance of storing animal feed

During this time, the drought, the need to have been storing feed for animals becomes particularly apparent. One of the principal causes of livestock death is undernourishment. Something that is important to be aware of is the importance of good, nourishing food for your animals. Whilst much money is spent on vaccines and other such expenses, animals are much more resistant to other threats like these when well nourished. For this reason, it is important not only to be fed, but to be well fed – food with nutrients, not just something to fill the belly. Whilst now it is late to be thinking about these storage techniques, this is something that should be done in times of plenty; these techniques should help now and in the future.

Making hay

Main plants for use in haymaking:


–          Capim estrela

–          Tifton

–          Pangola

–          Capim Buffel

Native Legumes

–          Canafistula

–          Catingueira

–          Marmeleira

–          Sabiá

–          Jucá

–          Mororó


–          Leucine
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–          Pigeon pea

There are four processes involved in haymaking.

Cutting the hay – When should the feed be cut? All grasses, legumes, whatever plant you are going to use must be cut before flowering, if you cut after flowering, then all the nutrients will be gone, used up. Grasses should be about 1.5 metres high.

Preparing the hay – the cut plant must be left out to dry for about 24 hours – this means a sunny day, if it is not sunny, then it will have to be left out longer. It needs to have 20% of the moisture left in it to be ready – if it is too much, it will go mouldy, if too little, there will be no nutrients left in it. The twist test gives an indication if it is right – twist a bunch of the grass – if water comes out, it is too wet, if it snaps it is too dry.

Baling the hay – Can be done either with a machine or manually, important to be able to store securely and to prevent loss.

Storing the hay – air flow is essential to stop mould appearing and ruining, as well as somewhere dry. A barn or some similar structure is ideal, and then make sure that air flow can get through.

Making silage

There are two main types of silage – CINCHA (vertical silo, above ground, using a ring to help form) and TRINCHEIRA (dug out trench into which the silage is put, then covered with plastic sheeting)

Types of plants for making silage

–          Maize

–          Elephant grass

–          Sugar cane (not more than 20%)

–          Sorghum

–          Leucine

First cut the grass or other plant, according to guidelines above.

Chop up using a machine

Squash it – as seen at the training – this is to get all air out of the silage – it is essential that it is then stored in an airtight, and water tight way to ensure that the fermentation process proceeds as it should. For this reason the location of the silo must have easy drainage.

Once the silage has been compacted, it can then be stored by putting good quality plastic sheeting over it, forming an airtight and water tight layer. This can be stored for up to two years. You must leave for two months to allow the fermenting process to be successful.