Veoliaforce response to deadly floods in Brazil

Severe storms hit southern Brazil, prompting a response from Veolia teams based in Brazil in coordination with the Veolia Foundation. Water treatment equipment and humanitarian emergency experts were mobilized to help the stricken population.

The state of Rio Grande do Sul, in southern Brazil, suffered deadly flooding in May, the wettest month in the state's history. Torrential rains, rising waters, landslides... 163 people died, tens of thousands had to leave their homes and several hundred thousand households were without water.

Veoliaforce skills sponsorship

The Veoliaforce skills sponsorship program is a Veolia Foundation initiative that makes the expertise of Veolia employees available for humanitarian projects. The aim is to restore access to an essential service using dedicated equipment: Aquaforces for water treatment, Saniforce for fecal sludge treatment, etc.

Faced with this “dramatic” and “absolutely unprecedented” situation, as described by Eduardo Leite, governor of the state where nearly 320 localities are affected, Veolia has mobilized. Teams from Veolia Brazil, Veolia Water Tech Zone and the Veolia Foundation have pooled their resources to participate in the humanitarian response coordinated by the Rio Grande do Sul state government and Brazilian authorities.

As an economic player and employer, it is essential to support the federal government and the state of Rio Grande do Sul in every way possible to enable as many people as possible to regain access to essential services.
Pedro Prádanos
CEO Veolia Brazil

An Aquaforce 2000, a mobile water treatment unit designed by the Veolia Foundation, was sent to Tenente Portela, in the northwest of the region, a town whose access to water was compromised by the floods. The aim was to provide 20 liters of drinking water per person per day (humanitarian standards) to a population of 2,000. Veolia teams organized the reception of this equipment and, together with the local authorities, identified the most suitable site for the deployment of this mini-water treatment plant.

Three Veoliaforce experts, including two Veolia LATAM employees based in Colombia and made available under the skills sponsorship scheme, were sent into the field. Eric Saez (Veolia Water), Anthony Pottier (Veolia Water) and José de Graeve (Veolia Foundation) spent two weeks on site to identify needs, deploy the Aquaforce 2000 and then train local technicians to operate the unit.

In this very critical moment for our colleagues and residents of Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil, we'll be truthful to our value of solidarity, acting as one to help.
Mauro Cruz
CEO Latin America, Veolia Water Tech Zone

On May 25, the residents of Tenente Portela and surrounding communities gained access to quality water, and the equipment was officially handed over to the town's mayor and the local community leader.