Brazil: Local govt recognizes importance of health and infrastructure compensation projects of Belo Monte for impacting 11 municipalities

Author: Mario Osava, IPS, Published on: 26 June 2015

“Amazon Dam also Brings Health Infrastructure for Local Population”, 19 June 2015

...Extensive public health infrastructure and the eradication of malaria will be the most important legacy of the construction of the Belo Monte hydropower dam in Brazil...for the...affected by the megaproject. In the six municipalities in the area of the dam, where an action plan to curb malaria has been implemented, the number of cases plunged...For the past two years no one has fallen ill with malaria in Brasil Novo..,” said...Carvalho, health secretary of that municipality...The results in the vicinity of Belo Monte...were obtained through an 11-million-dollar offensive by Norte Energía which included the construction of laboratories and the purchase of vehicles and long-lasting mosquito nets. “Belo Monte has given Brasil Novo what it would not have obtained on its own in centuries,” Carvalho...[said]...[T]he Regional Sustainable Development Plan..., funded by the company, is focused on implementing public policies and local projects. It comes on top of...a set of 117 initiatives and actions to be carried out by the consortium building the Belo Monte dam, as compensation for 11 municipalities affected by the hydropower plant...The investment, a condition for obtaining the necessary environmental permits, represents 14 percent of the Belo Monte construction project’s total budget...Brasil Novo...will receive very little in the way of royalties from Belo Monte, and will find it hard to keep the hospital running...But there will be no shortage of doctors thanks to the central government’s More Doctors programme, which hired thousands of Cuban physicians willing to work in Brazil’s hinterland...Local residents also criticise the company for delays in the health projects, which were supposed to get underway earlier in order to meet the increased demand caused by the influx of workers from other regions. The delays were aggravated by the temporary closure of the health services to build new installations...“What was already precarious is now even worse,” said Marcelo Salazar, head of the non-governmental Socioenvironmental Institute in Altamira.

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Related companies: Consórcio Norte Energia