IBGE civil servants in Rio Grande do Sul gather to aid people left homeless due to flooding
September 19, 2023 10h00 AM | Last Updated: September 22, 2023 01h40 PM
Last week, IBGE civil servants in Rio Grande do Sul engaged in a campaign to help people left homeless after floods swept the state. In early September, an extratropical cyclone hit more than 100 municipalities in the state and left more than 25 thousand persons homeless.
“The IBGE had the duty to do something after this tragedy,” said Francisco Luís Silva, census analyst, and the one who suggested the Institute should help the population then. Therefore, the IBGE State Superintendency in Rio Grande do Sul, headquartered in the state capital, Porto Alegre, filled two official vehicles – a van and a pickup truck – with mineral water, food products, cleaning and personal hygiene products, clothes, and even household appliances. “I than all the Other servants who gave donations and made this entire action possible”, Mr. Silva added.
One of the many IBGE Municipal Branches in Brazil is located in Lajeado, the main city in Vale do Taquari, the region that was most severely affected by rain. Despite the difficulty to move around, the civil servants were able to take donations up to Estrela, a neighboring municipality. From there, they were distributed around the region.
A driver who joined the trip from Porto Alegre to Vale do Taquari Fernando Almeida said that, in spite of the feeling of dismay, people there got together to help those in need. “At times like these we feel useful to be able to provide the homeless with some kind of comfort.” He also recalls that the saddest moment of all was when he saw an old lady crying desperately. “It is not an easy thing to lose all you have and find strength to start over.”
According to analyst Elisângela Cohen, providing help makes you more human. “We are sympathetic to others as we put ourselves in their shoes.” She mentions her habit of making regular donations. “Every year, my daughter and I donate some of our clothes for those who are in need.”
After the donations were distributed, the pickup truck remained at Vale do Taquari so that it could be used to help other citizens affected by the tragedy. “Since last Monday, we have been engaged in helping the Civil Defense and the City Government. Every day I visit the Distribution Center to be informed of the current demands, of what goods or families need to be transported,” says Paulo Ricardo Hamester, head of the Lajeado Municipal Branch.
Today’s edition (September 18th) of the daily Civil Defense bulletin says the natural tragedy killed 48 people, left other nine missing, 943 injured and 20,978 homeless, and impacted on the lives of 359 thousand people in 104 municipalities.
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