Community of Carapicuíba celebrates install of solar panels

The community 1st of May, from Carapicuíba (border city of São Paulo), made a feijoada last Saturday (July 11th) celebrating the install of solar panels to heat water, a popular […]

Photo of the people together in Carapicuiba

The community 1st of May, from Carapicuíba (border city of São Paulo), made a feijoada last Saturday (July 11th) celebrating the install of solar panels to heat water, a popular technology worked by the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), in partnership with ADAI and Fundação Banco do Brasil/BNDES. This project foresees the install of Low Cost Solar Heaters of Social Technology (TS_ASBC) in the state of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.

The first person to have this benefit in the neighborhood is the school teacher Rosí Ribeiro: “With the solar panels to heat water, we have reduced circa of 30% of the consume of electric energy”. The panel have been installed in her house collectively by the community in May of 2014. Unfortunately the energy fare have increase a lot recently.

The same complaint is made by the public worker Sérgio Barros. “The solar panels represent a good economy, specially because the energy fares are getting every time higher”, he says showing the lasts bills of AES Eletropaulo. Only this year, the concessionary, controlled by the US AES, have increased three times the price of the energy fare for residential consumers.

Ismael is one of the most active in the construction of the panels in the community and have now the nickname “Weightless” because of his ease climbing on roofs to install the technology. “This group came closer after the install of the panels, strengthened the community,” he said.

Also attended the feijoada two companions of social movements from United States, Robert Robinson and Joelle Robinson, who also work with the right to housing and food sovereignty in communities in New York and Washington DC. “It’s nice to see a well-knit community,” Rob said. “In the US, individualism is very strong,” he compared. The two activists are participating in an exchange program with MAB.

A neighborhood fight
The neighborhood 1st May was the result of the struggle for housing of families in the region. About 20 years ago, the first residents occupied the land and started a campaign to build together the first houses. “There has always been a struggle to have the house, then to have water, electricity,” says the metal worker Antonio Costa Real, one of the oldest residents.
Rosi recalled that earlier they had only one power point and water to all families. “Unfortunately, many families are gone today and the new ones which have arrived do not have the same relationship with the community,” she says. Today, the struggle is to get the definitive title of the allotments. There are about 300 families living in this place.

Photo of Rosi by the solar panel

Antonio also have the experience with the install of the solar panels, having participated in two workshops held by MAB in the neighborhood. Now he wants to have new experiences with technology: “I want to make the solar panel heater in an aluminum plate [in place of PVC commonly used] to see if it works. It will be a little more expensive, but I think it will heat the water faster,” he says. According to him, the advantage is that installing the solar panels this way is very easy and cheap. “It’s also a nice proposal of MAB to put aside the high usage of conventional energy.”

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

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