Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico & Social, Brazil’s development bank, will spend 210 million reais ($93.4 million) building water tanks to help the nation’s northeast region combat the worst drought in 50 years.
The funds will go towards construction of 64,000 cisterns in eight states for low-income families by the middle of next year, the Rio de Janeiro-based state lender said in a statement on its website. BNDES will provide 126 million reais to install 12,000 tanks in a first phase.
More than 90 percent of the 1,133 municipalities in Brazil’s semi-arid region, which includes the whole northeast and the north of Minas Gerais state, have declared a state of emergency due to water shortages, according to the statement.
The program was created by the Ministry of Social Development & Fight Against Hunger and state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR:US), according to the statement.
The cisterns will include concrete tanks capable of storing 52,000 liters or pits lined with plastic, BNDES said.
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