The Brazilian federal government issued a decree on December 6 putting six municipalities under a state of “climate emergency” due to drought, water scarcity, or excessive rainfall. The move brought the number of cities in a state of climate emergency up to 26.
Cities recently included on the list due to water scarcity were Macaúbas and Santa Bárbara, in Bahia, and Aracoiaba, in Ceará. The situation is most severe in Passa e Fica, in Rio Grande do Norte, which is already facing a drought. Meanwhile, the cities of Ruy Barbosa, also in Bahia, and São José de Ubá, in Rio de Janeiro, joined the list due to excessive downpours.
The federal government’s move allows the cities to receive more funds to fight the emergency by supporting the population, recovering damaged structures, or re-establishing essential services. Brazil is still recovering from the consequences of its driest summer season in 91 years, which also jacked up energy prices and affected inflation earlier this year.