The resettlement program’s mission is to reestablish the ways of life and the organization of communities which lost their homes due to the tailings passage after the Fundão dam collapse: the Bento Rodrigues district (the first to be hit by the tailings) and Paracatu de Baixo, in Mariana (MG); Gesteira, in Barra Longa (MG); and the rural areas of these municipalities. It is a unique model with the involvement of the families in the design of their communities.
The reconstruction of the sub-districts affected by the mud is the result of a long process which involves planning, urban concepts, project approval, adaptation to land challenges, design of each house according to the family’s wishes, installation of collective services and approval of each project at the City Hall, among other stages. On the public side, there is also a need to develop and approve legislations related to the construction of new urban centers.
About 470 families actively participate in the resettlement process. Until the villages and properties are rebuilt, everyone has the right to housing guaranteed by the Renova Foundation, which currently rents houses to around 300 families at the Mariana and Barra Longa regions (MG).
The main goal of resettlement is to ensure that housing and areas where public facilities will be located meet the needs raised by future residents, preserving their habits, neighborhood relations and cultural and religious traditions.
In Bento Rodrigues, the construction of houses follows several stages: lot containment, foundation and masonry. The works of the municipal school and the health center and services are in the masonry stage.
The landfill adequacy work started in August 2019 and follows the schedule. The paving of the road leading to the resettlement land was completed in October 2019, along with signage and lighting. São Bento street, the main street of the new community, was also completed in October. Other infrastructure works, such as drainage, water and sewage networks, paving and electricity, are still underway.
CONSTRUCTION OF BENTO RODRIGUES IN NUMBERS
Bento Rodrigues’ urban project was approved in February 2018 by families that chose the resettlement with 99,4% of the votes
TWO INFRASTRUCTURE SETS WILL BE BUILT:
• 1 Elevated reservoir/water treatment station (ETA)
• 1 Sewage Treatment Station (ETEs)
TEN PUBLIC CONSTRUCTIONS WILL BE BUILT:
• Soccer field
• Bento Rodrigues School
• Health Center
• Service station
• Mercês Church
• São Bento Church
• God Assembly Temple
• Community association
• Multisport court
• Fruit and vegetable
FOR THE VILLAHGE CONSTRUCTION, IT WILL BE NECESSARY:
16.000 tons of mortar
528 water tanks
111.370 m2 of ceramics
45k liters of ink
PARACATU DE BAIXO
Infrastructure works, including the trench, land containment, earthmoving, installation of drainage, water and sewage networks, started in July 2019. In November, the construction of the first houses foundations began. In parallel, the development of about 70 conceptual house projects by the Renova Foundation architects continues with the participation of families. The architectural designs of the school and health center were approved by the community in September 2019.
In December 2018, the Renova Foundation formally signed the purchase of the land for resettlement. Drilling, polygonal fencing and soil analysis services were also completed. In August 2019, discussions on resettlement guidelines began, which will underpin the housing restoration process.
The repair also involves the reconstruction and recovery of damaged infrastructure in the Mariana and Barra Longa region. Among the activities, cleaning and removal of residues, rubble and debris resulting from the collapse, demolition and reconstruction of remaining compromised structures are undertaken or contemplated.
More than 1.500 works have been completed and delivered so far, such as restoration of houses, rural properties and schools, reconstruction of bridges, fences, corrals, artesian wells and bridges made of wood, slopes containment and hillsides. Altogether, 142,2 kilometres of accesses were renovated, 1.200 kilometres underwent maintenance and 212 kilometres of fencing of rural properties were rebuilt.
Reconstruction of the Águas Claras bridge in Mariana
Landfill of Mariana
Another important infrastructure project is the readjustment of the Mariana sanitary landfill (MG), which has already started. The interventions will allow the residues to be inserted in waterproofed places and prevent the contact of the garbage with the natural land, to later be covered with compacted soil.
This method ensures that the landfill works under adequate conditions. About 120 workers will be mobilized for the construction and the municipality will have a fund of R$ 15 million to operate the landfill for five years.
The Barra Longa municipality in Minas Gerais was the only one with an urban area directly impacted by the tailings. The city had most of its infrastructure cleaned and renovated in actions that started immediately after the Fundão dam failure. In addition to the renovation and reconstruction of buildings and backyards, the new Manoel Lino
Mol square, Beira Rio Avenue, Gustavo Capanema Municipal School, the sports court and the Gesteira district square were also delivered. Part of the 170 thousand cubic meters of tailings removed from the municipality was moved to the Exhibition Park to expand the area. Another part was used to raise the soccer field, which previously suffered from floods in the rainy seasons.
More than 320 properties were renovated or rebuilt. Among the interventions already delivered, there are:
properties underwent maintenance
renovated residences and properties
shops were renovated
backyards and lands were renovated
Hotel Xavier is one of the properties under recovery. The bicentennial building had its lower part and external paint affected and has been closed since 2016. On site, the construction work is being assembled and workers are being mobilized, as well as cleaning, demolition and evaluation of the roof, walls and props of the property.
Water security in the impacted municipalities is one of the main concerns of the Renova Foundation. The interruption of water collection and shortages caused by the Fundão dam collapse drew attention to the structures, some of which are precarious, in the Water Treatment Stations (ETAs) of municipalities in the impacted region.
Water security studies pointed out the water sources which could be used for alternative capture in the affected cities and added to the diagnosis of ETAs. With these reports, it was possible to identify the needs of each region.
Improvements were performed to ETAs along the impacted stretch and professionals were trained to work with the new equipment. In some places, in addition to improvement actions, such as renovations, it was necessary to build treatment plants.
Another work front operates to reduce the risk of shortages in 24 municipalities that drew water from the Doce River. The identification of new water sources for alternative water collection reduced the risk of shortages, as it sought other sources of water resources, complementing the Doce River offer.
The goal is that in municipalities with up to 100 thousand inhabitants, 30% of the water sent for treatment has an independent source from the Doce River; for larger cities, the target is 50% and, in Governador Valadares, 67% of the total supply. The Governador Valadares water pipeline is under construction.
(*) Among the 13 concluded systems, four ETAs will undergo new improvement works
Currently, just as all raw water collected, the water from the Doce River can be safely drunk as long as it is treated. This means that it is suitable for human consumption after undergoing conventional treatment at the ETAs, before reaching the consumer’s taps.
WATER PIPELINE IN GOVERNADOR VALADARES
In Governador Valadares (MG), the construction works of a pipeline, budgeted at R$ 155 million, are in full operation to guarantee the community water security. The initiative will allow the capture of water from the Corrente Grande River, an alternative to the Doce River, especially during the dry season.
The pipeline, which will be 35 kilometres long, runs from the rural area of the municipality to the urban area, supplying three Water Treatment Plants (ETAs): Central, Vila Isa and Santa Rita. In addition, to ensure the sustainability of the process, springs on the Corrente Grande River are being protected. The work is expected to be delivered in 2021.
A fundamental action for the revitalization of the Doce River is due the compensatory measure that provides the destination by the Renova Foundation of R$ 500 million to the municipalities impacted by the tailings for improvement projects in the collection and treatment of sewage and proper disposal of solid waste.
The financial resource will be used for sewage depletion system projects, implementation of sewage collection and treatment works, dump eradication and implantation, expansion and improvement of regional sanitary landfills, selective collection program, recyclable sorting unit, waste transshipment station, organic treatment units, review of municipal sanitation plans, among others.
This is a point that, in a transversal way, will favor the recovery of the river. The preservation of tributaries and investments in sewage treatment can take the Doce River to a level that has not been seen for many years. The decrease in illegal sewage disposal contributes to better water oxygenation and less contamination, to bring back the health of the river and, as a consequence, the entire ecosystem around it.
The Minas Gerais Development Bank (BDMG) and the Espírito Santo State Development Bank (Bandes) are the financial agents responsible for the transfer of resources to the municipalities, according to the project schedule for each location. Of the total of R$ 500 million, about R$ 390 million is under the responsibility of the Minas Gerais bank, and R$ 110 million, with the Espírito Santo institution. The definition of the amount allocated to each municipality considers the number of inhabitants, the amount of funds transferred from the Municipality Participation Fund, the level of impact suffered on the water supply systems in the localities and the percentage of treated sewage.
Renova Foundation also provides training and technical support to ensure the consistency of sanitation projects and their proper implementation. Until December 2019, there were 727 hours of training with public officials, with offers of workshops on different topics, such as project design, bidding process and works monitoring, and structuring of consortium solutions for the destination of solid waste and services management.
By the end of December 2019, R$ 4,1 million were transferred to sanitary sewage and solid waste actions to the municipalities of Alpercata (MG), Dionísio (MG), Iapu (MG), Marliéria (MG), Rio Casca ( MG), São José do Goiabal (MG), São Domingos do Prata (MG), Baixo Guandu (ES) and Colatina (ES).
In the area where the Fundão dam is located, a 40-meter-high dam, called Axis 1, was built to contain part of the rest of the tailings that remains in the reservoir. The construction applied a methodology that aims to offer more resilience to the structure.
The conclusion of the construction closes the priority actions carried out since the Fundão dam failure, in November 2015, aimed at ensuring the stability of the tailings containment structures.