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. Bishop Luiz Flavio Cappio, 59, is protesting against a $2bn plan to divert water from the 3,000-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.

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