“More then 600 people are missing after days of heavy rain in north-eastern Brazil triggered deadly floods, officials say. At least 31 people are known to have died so far and tens of thousands have had to flee their homes. Correspondents say the floods have washed away entire villages in the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco. The governor of Alagoas, Teotonio Vilela Filho, said bodies were being washed up on beaches and riverbanks.
“We are praying for the missing to be found alive,” he said, before holding talks with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. More than 1,000 miles of roads have been washed away by the rains, hindering the delivery of aid to affected areas. Rescue teams are airlifting people out of the worst-affected areas by helicopter. The town of Quebrangulo in Alagoas is reportedly 80% submerged, forcing thousands of residents to flee to higher ground. The army and navy are helping with the rescue efforts. In 2009, flooding killed at least 44 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the same region.” – BBC
Am I being way too simple-minded here or if a city has been destroyed by floods, isn’t it possible to devote gov’t aid to that city to put in a drainage system? To say Brazil can’t come up with enough money in public funds is to lie. To say impunity for politicians who commit crimes by diverting public funds is routine, now that comes closer to the truth. Of course, that’s not to say that the US by comparison isn’t full of corrupt politicians, because it surely is. Here (when there isn’t an economic crisis), there’s money to go around, even when the politicians and CEOs steal tons of it. If I lived in Brazil on a more permanent basis and the politicians were stealing money that could make my life and the life of everyone around me better, I would be madder than mad. I’d be furious.
I think a comparison to Hurricane Katrina can be made here. Having lived in New Orleans post-Katrina, I know how fast the nice, touristy places were rebuilt and I know how the surrounding areas still look today. To ignore people because they are poor, when there are ways to help them, is just plain evil. This is the world we live in, where we throw around words like ‘development’, ‘third world’ and ‘social change’ without thinking about what they really mean, where the gov’t is in bed with the media, so much so that they make the people want what they don’t need and ask for change they don’t really understand. Too bad that more often than not, people are scared of their gov’t rather than the other way around. If we never wish to learn, then we’re on the right track.