Waiting for the rain

Even a backcountry farmer accustomed to the sun’s heat no longer knows what to do when faced with the worst drought that Brazil’s northeast has seen in 50 years.

Hildefonso Santos, 64,  stands inside his homestead where he has been waiting for the past two years for rain to fall, in the town of Uaua, in the part of Bahia State declared to be in a drought emergency, on January 16, 2013. Santos, who lost all of his plantation to the drought that is threatening hydro-power supplies in an area prone to blackouts and potentially slowing economic growth in one of the country’s emerging agricultural frontiers. Lack of rain has hurt crops and left cattle and goats to starve to death in dry pastures.

“There are many people who left, and I also thought about leaving this place that even the rain abandoned,” says Hildefonso, “but I cannot. My father taught me that a man must live where he was born.”

More photos on Reuters Photographers blog: A place that even the rain has abandoned