Rodrigo Baléia has been photographing the Amazon Basin for the past decade. He has become accustomed to the constrasts embodied by this unique region and through his lens he has captured both the beauty and the destruction of the Amazon. In recent weeks his camera has once again focused on the Amazon Basin to capture the impacts of the severe drought, still ongoing there.
What scares me is the proximity of the events [in the Amazon Basin]: in a period of one year, we've had the biggest flood and now the worst drought. Some scientists who accompanied me during these trips said they were expecting that these extremes would only happen every 50 years.
The fact that these extreme events are so close may indicate changes in the climate. And not only here in the region - the Amazon influences the rains not just here, but also in the South of Brazil. Deforestation, therefore, affects this entire system. In the last decade, I photographed extreme events – such as tornadoes and desertification – in Brazil’s south and northeastern regions. Brazil has not experienced extreme events like these in the past. But they are now happening, with increasing strength and frequency.
This drought directly affects the lives of people who live along the rivers. These people depend on the river for transportation, meals, and end up isolated because of the drought. I went to areas where, in the middle of the Amazon basin, people had no water to drink.
The Amazon Basin drought in images: