Clean Water Year Round

Lions take action to protect and conserve local water source.

The village of Barão de Guaicuí, located in Gouveia, a neighboring municipality of Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is a place of scenic beauty with waterfalls and mountains that attract visitors for hiking and outdoor sports.

In 2013, the water source supplying the area was nearly dry during the time of greatest need. Village residents approached the Diamantina Lions Club with an action plan to protect and conserve the source by planting native seedlings.

The club agreed to lead the “Replantar” project in the areas surrounding the Sentinela and Cristais waterfalls in Diamantina, and in the village of Barão de Guaicuí. They partnered with the State Forest Institute (IEF-MG), which provided seedlings and labor; EMATER-MG, which transported the seedlings and assisted in the work; and the Major Agenor Scout Group, whose members helped with planting.

The execution of the project, the dates, the responsibilities of each party and post planting actions, such as raising awareness among residents about caring for the seedlings and preventing fires and destruction, were negotiated with a group of village residents and the manager of the Biribiri State Park, where the waterfalls are located.

The Lions traveled in a van to carry out the effort with their partners. IEF employees dug the holes, while the others fertilized and planted the seedlings. In Barão de Guaicuí, some residents joined the group and planted around the water source and in the local square.

Despite the installation of protective fences, some trees around the waterfalls did not survive due to the weather and soil conditions. However, the trees that thrived now enhance the landscape, provide shade for visitors, and feed birds and wildlife with their fruits. The seedlings around the water source grew and fulfilled their purpose to protect and ensure a continuous supply of clean drinking water.

“We have a lot to thank the Lions club for the recovery and preservation of our water source and for planting seedlings of native species,” says resident César A. Barroso Maciel. “I and other residents seek good quality water from the source for our families’ consumption. The initiative to plant trees in the square has also made us aware of the importance of caring for and beautifying our place.”