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Atorã Project

Due to the collapse of the Fundão Dam, the Rio Doce is dead and the Krenak people have lost their main source of water. The only source of drinking water in the Atorã community is the spring next to the house of our matriarch, Djanira Krenak. However, the spring is losing strength and drying up.

The project aims to reforest the headwaters of this spring and thus strengthen the river. I need help from experts to understand the best species to stimulate the water table without interfering with the ecosystem.

I am looking for resources and partnerships to develop this project.

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My story

My name is Wakrewa Krenak, I was born in the city of Carmésia, but I have always lived in the Krenak Indigenous Village. Today I am 30 years old and mother of three children. I have a degree in biological sciences, which allows me to understand nature from both an indigenous and a non-indigenous perspective. So I am a female leader of the Krenak people, and I use my voice to fight for our rights in the fight against mining companies and climate change. I have been studying and learning to protect the rights of my people. My dream is for my struggle as well as all indigenous women to be recognised by the world.

I am from the Atorã community of the Krenak people, located in the east of Minas Gerais. Our community is made up of around 30 families. Our culture is an endless cycle, passed from parents to children. In the Krenak culture, there is a paternal and maternal link with the Uatu (Rio Doce). Uatu is our father and mother. In the past, our children were baptized in the waters of the Uatu, so that contact with the water creates the child's first spiritual connection with nature.

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Unfortunately, after the Crime of Mariana, our culture and our people are doomed to disappear. Due to the collapse of the Fundão dam, 45 million liters of toxic mud were dumped into the Rio Doce and killed our Uatu. The dam was the responsibility of Vale and BHP. The biggest mining companies in the world allowed this to happen out of incompetence and greed. So our culture has been disrupted in such a way that there is no going back. We do not practice our traditions that our ancestors carefully preserved. We cannot fish or swim. My community is stuck on an unsolvable problem. The environmental damage is irremediable, the Uatu will never go back to the way it was before. Our children and future generations will never understand the meaning of Uatu. We are losing our identity, our happiness and some have even lost the will to live.

The government that should protect us is all the time ignoring our rights. The judiciary should ensure justice, treat us as a problem instead of victims. The Federal Prosecutors Office, which should try to solve this problem, seems to be on the side of the companies. Those affected by this crime are at the mercy of the will of these companies. Our feeling is one of total impunity. Everyday the crime is RENOVA. The cultural and environmental damage is permanent, irremediable and irreversible. The only way to compensate for the damages is to pay. As long as there is a single Krenak living in our territory, these companies must pay for killing the culture of my people. As long as there is a single Krenak alive, we will be fighting the mining companies, and we will be fighting for our culture.

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