Archipelago Families Move to Canoes in Search of Water in the Amazon

Residents of Anavilhanas, on the course of the Negro River, escape the drought

Vinicius Sassine and Lalo de Almeida
Novo Airão (AM)

On the edge of one of the largest river archipelagos in the world, entire riverside families have moved into canoes to be closer to water.

The extreme drought in this part of the Amazon, which has left the Negro River at a level never seen in recent history, has been causing forced displacements and unimaginable ways of life and housing for such a humid place and so marked by watercourses in normal times.

NOVO AIRAO, AM. 17/10/2023. Residents of Anavilhanas, along the course of the Negro River, acted to escape the drought( Foto: Lalo de Almeida/ Folhapress ) AMBIENTE *** EXCLUSIVO FOLHA***

The Anavilhanas river archipelago, between Manaus and Novo Airão (AM), has more than 400 islands and 60 lakes, on the course of the Negro River.

The historic drought has direct impacts on it. It creates more islands and sandbanks, drains water, alters the landscape, makes streams disappear, and isolates riverside communities.

Folha's report was in the archipelago and found that, in addition to these effects, the extreme drought has been causing families to move towards the water.

Large canoes anchored on sandbanks have become homes, a way of life that has lasted for months for some families, and is expected to continue until December, according to the prediction of the riverside residents themselves.

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