A cleaner river in Brazil, through education effort

MANAUS, Brazil — A small stream that flows through this interior city of Brazil has remained cleaner longer than any time in recent memory, thanks to a recent service project by children, youth and adults members of the five stakes in this city.

Under the leadership of President Divinio Prescenca of the Manaus Brazil Rio Negro Stake, more than 2,000 people joined 300 city workers and cleaned debris and weeds from a small river that runs through the west side of Manaus and drains into Rio Negro, from which the city gets its water supply, and which soon joins the Amazon River.

"If everyone contributes a little, it will make a big difference," said Ricardo Neves, a wheelchair bound youth who helped.

City official Francisco Mendes said that more than 200 tons of garbage are taken from the stream each year.

To help in the education effort, a second half of the service project consisted of youth standing at intersections and performing the boibumba, a Manaus folkloric dance. When people stopped to watch, the youth handed out pamphlets, courtesy of the Church, telling of the importance of keeping the river clean.

"The river is a place for the fish to live, not garbage," said one child, who was shown on one of the two major television channels that provided extensive coverage of the project.

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