Belo Monte’s Urban Resettlement already presents problems

The day after Nalda moved to her new house at the resettlement she had an unpleasant surprise: a pipe of the house broke and started flooding the kitchen floor. Nalda […]

The day after Nalda moved to her new house at the resettlement she had an unpleasant surprise: a pipe of the house broke and started flooding the kitchen floor. Nalda had left her previous stilt house more than a month ago due to the strong flooding at the Xingu River. She have being struggling in MAB for the right to be resettled soon, because she was already in the list and was living in shelter due to the flooding. Her daughter asked her “Mum, is it possible that here is also going to flood?”

Bursting pipes, infiltration, mold on the ceiling, bad smell coming from the drain, irregularity in water supply, windows that do not lock … problems of the houses built by Norte Energia for those affected by the Belo Monte Dam in the town of Altamira are already appearing – and not even half of these affected families have moved yet to the resettlement.

                   Infiltration in the bathroom is one of the problems of the houses of the resettlement

There is an attendance service installed by the company inside the resettlement which receives more more than ten types of complaints per day. And the number of resettled families at this moment are less than 200. Norte Energia plans the resettlement of 4100 families in four areas in the outskirts of Altamira. However, 7790 families were registered. This means that not all will have the right for the resettlement. The struggles of March 14th served to report that many were left out of the register criteria of affected by the company and also by “errors” of their employees.

Besides the problems in the structures of the houses, there are other issues plaguing the new residents. Chiquinho complaints that it was promised a piece of land on the side of his house so he could install his tattoo shop. The company had promised the same place for other small traders. But arriving at the settlement he heard that these places are only for larger companies, such as large supermarkets. And that those affected who want to continue their small shops inside the resettlement will have to build themselves on the front of their house plot or at structures in the back of the house plot.

                     Improvised lock for the window

When the project of resettlement was presented in 2013, Norte Energia representatives affirmed that they “would wait on the demand” to decide whether to build schools and health care centre in the areas. At the moment there is an improvised health care centre which works in one of the standard houses (there is only one model house in the resettlement of 63 m²). To go to school the children have to take a bus that leaves very early and returns very late back.

Another common problem concerns the economic transition to the place. Many affected, particularly women, had informal jobs and that depended on the old community ties. These were sewers, manicures, hairdressers, cosmetic retailers etc. … The company is not recognizing the temporary loss of this work and many people are unjustly not receiving the right of allowance of maintenance.

“These are problems that we had already been denouncing that would happen here in Belo Monte because it is the same in all the dams in Brazil,” says Edizângela, dam affected and MAB activist. “Before, they said that Belo Monte would be different, but now people are seeing that the situation here is even worse and is waking up to the struggle.”


                        Mold on the ceiling of one of the houses of the Jatobá resettlement

                                              The sink of the bathroom is already loosening

In the absence of a commercial area for those affected, residents have to improvise and build at the front of the house-plot


Without any plan of a building for health care centre it functions inside a standard house

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| Publicado 21/12/2023 por Coletivo de Comunicação MAB PI

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