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Amazon fires affect indigenous people

8 September 2019

It is not just a part of an important forest that is burning, it is the home of people who have lived in the Amazon for millennia. The fires in the Bolivian Amazaonas are affecting the indigenous people of the rainforest.

Forest fires in the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia

Photo: Juan Gabriel Estellano/ Oxfam IBIS

As industries and companies burn down the forest to build new plantations or open mines, around 2,000 families in Bolivia have been forced to flee their homes because of the fires. Oxfam is on the ground in the affected communities in the Bolivian Amazon, providing people with food and clean water.

Portrait of Vania from Bolivia. She is wearing a gray-blue t-shirt.

"It is sad to think of all the animals burning up, all the species and all the trees. These are the lungs of the earth. It makes me sad that we are destroying the world for our children and grandchildren," said Vania.

Vania Montenegro Aranibar's home was surrounded by fire. "It is just a simple house, but it is my home. Now everything is destroyed", says Vania, whose home in Bolivia was surrounded by fire. She saw how her crops were destroyed, how animals died and trees turned to ash.

Photo: Juan Gabriel Estellano / Oxfam IBIS