Tag Archive for 'san antonio dam'

A Raging River

Photo retrieved from: www.amazonwatch.org

“As the Brazil government pursues its reckless plans to build mega-dams on major Amazonian rivers like the Xingu and Madeira, we can expect to see their catastrophic social and environmental consequences continue to befall local communities. This article highlights how the construction of the Santo Antônio dam of Brazil’s Madeira River Complex in the Amazonian state of Rondônia has unleashed the river’s destructive powers, swallowing a riverside community in the city of Porto Velho. It also shows how these dams decimate the abundant fish species that are so crucial to local food security and livelihoods while uprooting thousands of people from their homes.

Two days before the start of tests on the first turbine of the Santo Antônio hydroelectric dam [on the Madeira River] in Rondônia, the phone rang in the home of fisherwoman Maria Iêsa Reis Lima. “It’s going to start”, warned a friend who worked on the dam’s construction. Iêsa sat on the porch, poised to observe the waters, awaiting what she knew would be an irreversible change. “The Madeira River is dangerous, it demands respect. The engineers say that they have all the technology, but nothing controls the reaction of this river.”

This is sadly just one of the stories emerging from dam-ravaged communities in the Amazon, one we will see repeated many times over if Brazil continues to pursue its disastrous plans for the region’s rivers.”

Read more: Amazon Watch


No More Catfish in the Madeira?

Photo retrieved from: www.internationalrivers.org

“When the environmental license for the Santo Antônio Dam was approved against the findings of fish experts, Lula controversially claimed that the dams would not be stopped because of “some catfish.” Now, the catfish are disappearing.

The news is especially troubling only a few years after 11 tons of fish were destroyed during construction of a coffer dam. Meanwhile, construction of the Jirau Dam continues farther upstream; and if the government’s plans move forward to build a third dam on the Madeira River – the Ribeirão Dam – fish species may disappear from this majestic river at an even greater rate.

Earlier this year, Congress unilaterally proclaimed the Ribeirão Dam a “national priority,” despite the dam not appearing on any government plan. It is not mentioned in the Program to Accelerate Growth, nor in the Ten-Year Energy Plans for 2020, nor in the National Energy Plan for 2030. The project has not passed through the Ministry of Planning. And no economic feasibility study, no environmental impact assessment, and no indigenous action plan have ever been sent to IBAMA, and no prior consultations have ever been held. Every indication points to this third dam being a nice serving of pork barrel spending for theRaupp political family in Rondônia.

Will the catfish disappear entirely from the Madeira River? As long as Dilma’s authoritarian dam-building in the Amazon continues, chances are only getting worse.”

Read more: International Rivers