On January 25, 2019 a dam broke in the State of Minas Gerais, releasing more than 12 billion liters of mineral debris broke, with tailings from iron mining. The waters and mudslides immediately reached the Municipality of Brumadinho and Parque da Cachoeira reserve, and more than 220 km along the course of the Paraopeba River. According to assessment data provided by KOINONIA, ACT Ecumenical Forum Brazil (FEACT Brazil) member with other local partners, the disaster had the following impact:
- 760 pour families affected directly (3,800 persons)
- 5400 families evacuated from households (27,000 persons) from Brumadinho
- 84 fatalities
- 189 persons rescue
- 305 missing persons
- 250 damaged houses
- 25 totally destroyed houses.
So far there are no humanitarian organizations active in the region. The federal and state governments requested support only for the rescue and burial of bodies with the Army of Israel and and firemen of other States of Brazil. The Government of the State of Minas Gerais has decreed a state of humanitarian environmental calamity, which is officially the opening for external humanitarian aid.
KOINONIA is responsible for project implementation. Office staff, as well as local partners and volunteers from the communities will be involved in organizing implementation in the communities and facilitating a participatory approach in the implementation. KOINONIA and its local partners will involve local leadership in the response. There is a team of facilitators, promoters and local leaders who will ensure the proper implementation of the humanitarian response, establishing operational committees for an adequate management of the aid.
The ACT Secretariat has approved the use of $149,604 USD from its Rapid Response Fund, Koinonia will provide Psychosocial support, WASH and food security to 750 affected families.