Brazilian project to build hydroelectric dam destroys swathes of rain forest

The destruction of the rain forest in Brazil thanks to a huge project to build a hydroelectric dam has been laid bare in a series of devastating photographs.

Striking images show both the damage caused to the environment through deforestation, with one showing a single tree left standing on scorched wasteland, and the impact on the Juruna, Arara and Xikrin tribes whose main source of water is being polluted. 

The three dams and 193 sq mile reservoir divert 80 per cent of the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon river, along the Volta Grande, or Big Bend, meaning many tribes struggle to navigate the river while others face plummeting fish stocks.

Work on the Belo Monte mega dam began in 2011, and the complex is expected to be fully operational by 2019 - leaving between 20,000 and 40,000 people displaced.

Canadian Aaron Vincent Elkaim travelled to the Brazilian Amazon to capture the heartbreaking cost of Brazil's second largest hydroelectric dam.

The destruction of the rain forest in Brazil has been laid bare in this devastating photo series. Pictured: four boys sit on a tree in a recently flooded area near a hydroelectric dam being built upstream

The destruction of the rain forest in Brazil has been laid bare in this devastating photo series. Pictured: four boys sit on a tree in a recently flooded area near a hydroelectric dam being built upstream

The Belo Monte mega dam has diverted 80 per cent of the Xingu River along the Volta Grande, or Big Bend, meaning fish stocks of plummeted. Pictured: a fisherman with an empty net

The Belo Monte mega dam has diverted 80 per cent of the Xingu River along the Volta Grande, or Big Bend, meaning fish stocks of plummeted. Pictured: a fisherman with an empty net

Here, a single tree is left standing among scorched earth. The photos were taken by Canadian Aaron Vincent Elkaim as part of a series entitled Where the River Runs Through

Here, a single tree is left standing among scorched earth. The photos were taken by Canadian Aaron Vincent Elkaim as part of a series entitled Where the River Runs Through

The project, which began in 2011 and is expected to be finished later this year, will see between 20,000 and 40,000 people displaced. Pictured: security checks by the military near the dam

The project, which began in 2011 and is expected to be finished later this year, will see between 20,000 and 40,000 people displaced. Pictured: security checks by the military near the dam

Elkraim said: 'The basic message I am hoping to convey is that life is about more than our material and technological comforts, and that those comforts come at a cost to others, the health of the earth and maybe even our own happiness'

Elkraim said: 'The basic message I am hoping to convey is that life is about more than our material and technological comforts, and that those comforts come at a cost to others, the health of the earth and maybe even our own happiness'

Speaking of his series, Where the River Runs Through, Elkaim said: 'The basic message I am hoping to convey is that life is about more than our material

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