Brazil bishop on hunger strike over river diversion scheme

A Catholic bishop in Brazil has gone on hunger strike over government plans to partly alter the course of a major river.

CLICK HEREIndependent Catholic News reports that Bishop Luiz Flavio Cappio, 59, is protesting against a $A2.62 billion plan to divert water from the 3000 km Sao Francisco river via a series of canals and aqueducts to four drought-prone states in north-eastern Brazil.

Opponents say the scheme will have a huge environmental impact, benefiting only the wealthiest landowners in the north-east and reducing the capacity of dams on the Sao Francisco river to generate hydro-electric energy.

Bishop Cappio has called on President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silvato halt the project before final approval is granted by the country's environment agency.

Brazil: bishop on hunger strike over river diversion scheme (Independent Catholic News 3/10/05)

Brazilian Bishop On Hunger Strike To Save Environment (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 3/10/05)
Bishop on hunger strike "Celebrated mass and continues to fight" (Missionary Service News Agency 30/9/05)
Brazil bishop makes river protest (BBC 29/9/05)

4 Oct 2005