by Staff Writers
Rio De Janeiro (AFP) June 4, 2012
Brazil will spend $1.3 million to send water to the drought-ravaged northeast which is in the grips of its worst dry spell in a half-century, President Dilma Rousseff announced Monday.
Speaking on local radio here, Rousseff said the newly released funds will pay for more than 3,300 tanker trucks to carry water to the affected areas.
Drought has been taking a heavy toll more than 1,100 towns, triggering fighting in some areas.
Local dams in the region are running dry and scarce water supplies have devastated farm output, endangering lives and local livestock, according to officials, who said states of emergency were declared in 800 towns and cities.
Many people in the area have lost half their livestock, and the Brazilian government has reduced forecasts for corn, soy and bean crops.
In the Pernambuco region, 66 municipalities are on water emergencies, rivers have run completely dry and animals looking for water in the riverbed are struggling to find clean supplies.
The O Globo newspaper reported last month that an average of one person a day is being killed in "water wars" in rural areas, while scores of animals are wasting away.
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