Implantation of dams in Amparo and Pedreira generate controversy and confuse the population

Implantation of dams in Amparo and Pedreira generate controversy and confuse the population

Published On: 6 de November de 2015

Three public hearings were held to discuss the project to implement the dams in the municipalities of Amparo/SP and Pedreira/SP, under the responsibility of the Department of Water and Electric Energy-DAEE, an agency of the Government of São Paulo. The first hearing was held on October 6th in Campinas, the second on October 15th in Pedreira. A third hearing took place on November 3 in the municipality of Amparo.

Present at the hearings were representatives of GAEMA/Public Ministry of Campinas, COMDEMAs – Municipal Environmental Councils of Campinas and Amparo, environmental NGOs in the region, residents of the municipalities that will be expropriated, representatives of social movements, among others that protested against the undertaking. All pointed out flaws and contradictions in the environmental feasibility study presented by DAEE and the companies responsible for the project, Themag Engenharia and Hidrostudio.

According to promoter Dr. Rodrigo Sanches, the project was presented as a work to contain the water crisis and guarantee the water supply for the population, but in fact it is a modernization project of REPLAN - Paulínia Refinery, a Petrobras company, which was developed in 2008 by the PCJ Basin Committee. The prosecutor also mentioned that the indexes presented in the EIA/RIMA change the data indicated in the Basic project presented and that had been approved in previous hearings, such as the increase in storage capacity and level of the water mirror and the inexistence of a water main system to supply the homes of the population that suffers from water shortages.

Mr. Antonio Cassio Lopes, sociologist and member of the Sustainability Network of Campinas, confirmed the speech of the promoter citing that the project does not include the construction of pipelines for the distribution of water to the municipalities, which in no way solves the water crisis, identified as the main vector. for the construction of dams. for Mr. Luiz Muller, from the Jequitibás Institute, the concern is with the level of water contamination, as there are landfills and dumps in the area that will be flooded. He also pointed out that the safety plan for the population downstream of the dams is not foreseen in the EIA. “What will be done to protect the population if there is an accident at the dams?”.

Residents and representatives of social movements questioned the DAEE about the wrong survey of socioeconomic data and the lack of communication with those who will be expropriated. In 2014, the Government decreed the surrounding lands as an area of public utility and residents said they had no contact with entrepreneurs and those responsible for the study, and that they did not receive any information about the project. According to Mr. Agnaldo, a resident of the Santa Cruz neighborhood, the entrepreneurs are unaware of some local particularities, warning that the Camanducaia River is polluted, silted up and questioned the quality of the water that will be dammed.

The representative of COMDEMA from Campinas made a motion to reject the EIA/RIMA. He mentioned, among other issues, that the study presented does not take into account the green areas listed by the preservation agencies and historical and environmental heritage of Campinas. It also reinforces that there was no relationship between entrepreneurs and the local population.

As we can see, the audiences were marked by speeches against the construction of the dams and by the lack of preparation and neglect of the entrepreneurs in answering the questions made. It is also important to emphasize the lack of communication in these public hearings, a project of this magnitude is to be discussed with local and regional leaders, civil society, NGOs, the press, government officials, councilors. Communicating is not simply complying with a legal determination to “make public” and publish notes in the newspapers, to communicate is to invite, to stimulate participation in the debate, it is to engage the population, it is to make the process transparent and sustainable. We cannot lose the ability to mobilize ourselves to decide the future we want for our region and for our children.

Luiz Fabiano Ferreira

Marketing Manager

Postgraduate in Marketing and Social and Environmental Responsibility


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