Authorization to fill Belo Monte’s lake concern the people affected

Those affected by Belo Monte received with concern the news that Norte Energia obtained the release to start filling the lake of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant. Ibama gave the […]

Those affected by Belo Monte received with concern the news that Norte Energia obtained the release to start filling the lake of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant. Ibama gave the operating license for the dam on this Tuesday (November 24).

The company expected to receive the license more than two months ago, in September, but on that occasion the licensing agency denied the permit on the grounds of non-compliance with ten essential conditions.

To grant the license, Ibama listed a series of conditions that must be met. Among them is the obligation to “implement until October 2016, the works of urbanization and relocation or compensation of the residents of the neighborhood Independente II affected by the dam-lake.

The residents received the news with concern because the hydropower lake will fill the next three months and they will only be removed at the end of 2016. In other words, they will live a year in a flooded area.

 Residents of the Independent II, about 400 families were invisible to the Norte Energia and only had recognized the right to resettlement in November this year, after much struggle within the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB). The president of IBAMA, Marilene Ramos, arrived to meet with the residents organized in MAB in early November and at the time she said the agency would not give the license until the situation was resolved.

For Vanessa, one of the neighborhoods coordinators, affirms thats “it is wrong to give the license to Norte Energia which did not fullfil the conditions agreed (for the licensing). We are living difficult situations in our city without hospitals, many murders. I am also concerned about our lives, the rain season is coming and the company have not mooved us yet. “

In rural areas, the main fear of those affected from now on is how the region will stay, known as Volta Grande do Xingu, a 100 km stretch where the river is almost dry. Over there, live riverine populations, fishers and indigenous, who depend on the river to survive.

The river flow will be reduced by 80% in the rainy season. In the dry season, the flow will be of 700m³/s, less water than that recorded in the driest year of the historical series considered by Norte Energia (1998-1999) (715m³/s). According to the resident of Fazenda da Ilha, João Gararu that year the even the Bacajá river dried 

Another resident of the island and former fisherman, Pedro ‘Pinóquio’, he denounces that the number of fishes in the region have already dropped absurdly, forcing fishermen to trace new routes or give up the profession. “I had to quit fishing and open a bar here on the island,” he says. The teacher and fisherman Chiquinho says he fear the rupture of the dam, “What if that dam burst, what will be of us down here”

For this region of Volta Grande, IBAMA conditioned Norte Energia to monitor the river flow for six years and its impacts, including that, if there are increase of a major environmental and social damage, the company should increase the water flow. Within the profit logic in this energy sector, this hardly will happen.

In practice, IBAMA released the license of Belo Monte postponing series of conditions that should already have been met. The sewer connection in the entire city of Altamira, for example, (which had already to be finished) has been postponed for September 2016.

The company also won six more months to give a solution to the disposal of solid waste from Anapu city and the community of Belo Monte do Pontal.

Also after much struggle, Ibama will require a review of the treatment offered to residents of coastal and islands of the Xingu River, providing access to double housing to all affected entitled. This is because the company’s criteria in practice were forcing these families to give up their way of life.
The “resettlement” specific to indigenous and riverine population, Pedral, have been postponed and should be delivered until November 2016.


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

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