The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has attributed poorly managed floodplains and poor urban planning to be the major causes of the flooding, which has led to a huge loss of life and properties in Brazil.
Reports indicate that more than 700 people were killed in the flooding disaster. The highest downpour in about 44 years, resulted in deadly mudslides in state of Rio de Janeiro, including Nova Friburgo. Thousands have also been left homeless, and desolate. The flooding also affected suburbs surrounding cities, and has led to growing accusations of irresponsible planning by city authorities.
“It is important to better understand the risks to people and infrastructure in watershed areas, especially where ecosystems are degraded, contributing to the powerful effect of flooding," says James Dalton, Water Management Advisor, IUCN Water Programme. “The time of reconstruction will also be an opportunity to prevent future vulnerabilities to natural calamities by investing in well-managed ecosystems and flooding."
According to the IUCN, illegal construction, deforestation and unregulated housing are to blame in part for the devastating effects of the flooding. The IUCN, which works in helping the world find pragmatic solution to most pressing environment and development challenges, described wetlands and natural river channels as being capably of reducing the impact of large floods, by slowing water flows down and storing water as buffers to control flood peaks.
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