Rotary Wessex – Gravatai River clean up project Southern Brazil

About This Project

Here we were commissioned by Rotary District 1110 (Wessex area) to film the start of a “3H” grant (Hunger Humanitarian & Health) given by the Rotary Foundation to clean up the Gravatai river basin in Rio Grande do Sul region in southern Brazil, near Porto Alegre. It was a $300,000 project which subsequently attracted Government money for a new sewage works, water treatment plant and pumping stations.  The cities were flooding in the winter and the river could go into reverse flow bringing salt water and pollution up towards the water pumping station. Locals had cut down river bank trees and were using the river as a rubbish dump. 500 tons of paper and rubbish was removed from the river. The documentary video production was to explain the project which planted 20,000 trees, educated the children on the environment provided flat bottomed boats to the environmental police and cleaned up the river, as well as providing places for the locals to put their rubbish. It was a 6,241 mile 31 hour trip and on the 3rd day a river trip resulted in the boat overturning after hitting something in the water. The original camera was insured but is now at the bottom of the river filming alligators. When sinking holding a camera a life changing decision has to be made to survive and let go of the camera. The Cachoeirinha City hall provided a replacement cameraman who had to be directed in a mixture of Portuguese and descriptive hand sign language, but the documentary was still completed.

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