Dam Collapse in Bahia, Brazil: MAB says lack of dam supervision endangering lives

Another dam collapsed on 11th July in Quati, near the municipality of Pedro Alexandre, in the northeast region of the state of Bahia.

According to the Civil Defense of the region, as in other previous cases, water mixed with the earth formed a kind of mud that invaded the houses and left the population isolated. There is no information about victims. The dam was built by the state government. It was brackish water and was used for fishing. The water has already reached the municipality of Coronel João de Sá, on the banks of the Peixe River, on the border with Sergipe, where hundreds of people had to leave their homes.

So, unfortunately, Brazil suffers from the rupture of another dam, which reinforces what MAB has denounced with emphasis in the last period: the population that lives near dams is not safe and does not even have information about the real conditions of their structures.

The lack of dam supervision in the country is a serious problem, which endangers life, and sometimes materializes with collapse, as happened now (July 11)and many others such as Mariana (2017) and Brumadinho (January 2019).

The MAB understands that, due to the lack of supervision conditions, the Brazilian dams are like “time bombs”: the dam that collapsed in Bahia had not been classified as a risk, like the Minas Gerais ones (Mariana and Brumadinho) that killed so many people and destroyed two rivers, Doce and Paraopeba.

The Movement of People Affected by Dams calls for the construction of local Security Plans which allow to avoid tragedies in cases of “accident”. Even in the state of Bahia, the MAB has already requested a State Policy which guarantees the rights of the affected population, so far without significant progress. MAB also understands the importance of the implementation of the National Policy on the Rights of the Affected (PNAB), recently approved in the House of Commons and that is being debated in the Senate.

Historically, MAB campaigns in defense of life and the environment. It is absurd that the ruptures of dams are happening so often, and that they’re treated by the authorities in such a trivial way.

Our solidarity with the people of Bahia.

Movement of People Affected by dams