Dam Affected People Protest Against the Hydroelectric Power Plant of São Salvador

Monday, September 10, 2007

Around 500 members of the Movement of Dam Affected People (MAB) blocked the access road to the São Salvador Dam worksite in the early hours of 10/09/2007. The dam which is located between the municipalities of São Salvador and Parana on Rio Tocantins (State of Tocantins), will also affect the municipality of Minacu (Goias).

The power plant with an installed capacity of 240 MW belongs to the Energy Consortium São Salvador (CESS), whose major stakeholder is Tractebel Energia S.A. To the moment, none from the company appeared to negotiate with the affected people camped on the site.

In meetings in the negotiation forum on the São Salvador Hydroelectric Power Plant which took place in the auditorium of the municipality chamber of São Salvador, dam affected people and the company did not reach an agreement regarding the expiry date of the initial inventory for the land affected by the reservoir. According to Cirineu da Rocha, from the state coordination of MAB, the date should be June 2006 when the construction of the dam started and not 2003. He affirms that “the inventory elaborated by CESS in 2003 is disapproved by all the dam affected families”.

Furthermore, the company does not want to compensate the miners, diggers and truck drivers of the municipality of Minacu, claiming that they are not licensed workers. According to MAB, gold extraction and sand and gravel removal related to this activity is a long time tradition in the region. Cirineu Rocha affirms that “these workers will lose their means of living with the formation of the dam’s reservoir and should be compensated for that.

The affected people also demand respect of the chronogram for the resettlement of the families, agreed in the last meeting in the negotiation forum.