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Canoa de Tolda




In this partnership between HOT and Canoa de Tolda – Sociedade Socioambiental do Baixo São Francisco, for the first time in the region, data was collected in high-precision, collaborative digital terrain modeling to enable the mapping of populations in areas at-risk of flooding. Canoa de Tolda Project aimed to train local people from the lower stretch of São Francisco River basin to collect data.

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Canoa de Tolda is a type of traditional boat in the lower basin of the Sao Francisco River. It is also the name of a small community NGO whose purpose is to help the people who live in the valley of said river and who are affected by the behavior of the river and the basin, impacted by climate change and the use of water by of agribusiness and hydroelectricity.

The Canoa de Tolda project aims to train the local population of the lower basin of the São Francisco River to collect data that will allow, for the first time in the region, high-precision collaborative digital terrain modeling. The data will allow the mapping of populations in areas at risk of flooding with the intention of empowering them to defend their rights.

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The region has been suffering from the severe impacts of climate change with drastic periods of droughts and floods. Increased frequency and intensity of droughts can cause perennial rivers to become intermittent. Intermittent rivers may disappear. Likewise, the heavy rains and the lack of urban planning put at risk the communities that depend directly on the river for their basic socioeconomic activities. In the elaboration of the project have participated: Sociedade Socio Ambiental do Baixo Sao Francisco - Canoa de Tolda, Federal University of Alagoas - UFAL, OpenMapDevelopment Tanzania (OMDTZ), Rainbow Sensing, OpenDroneMap and HOT.

The project goes to ground

Between June 27 and July 8, 2022, HOT sent a team of experts to carry out different activities with Canoa de Tolda: flood monitoring, 3D drone modeling and community mapping. This was done in the city of Ilha do Ferro, which has a sizeable population at risk.

Performed activities:

  • Preparation of equipment purchased through an alliance with HOT (drones, batteries, fishfinders)
  • River tours in speedboats with depth and flow measurement in key areas; fluvial bathymetry tests.
  • GPS measurement of terrain points in high and dry areas near the river and installation of control points on land in strategic parts.
  • Installation of a base for the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) in the highest part of the city, and construction of a polystyrene foam base for the navigation of the fishfinder and the GPS in the river.
  • Flights and aerial shots using drones. -Community meetings to listen to the perception of river management and alternatives for disseminating the work carried out.
  • Community training meetings in the management of purchased equipment, software and applications.
  • Consultation with the university.

Canoa de tolda

Photo Credit - Marina Aragão, Ilha do Ferro - Alagoas