Affected people, volunteers and government agents continue to work to try to clean up the damage caused by the rupture of a water reservoir belonging to the Companhia Catarinense de Águas e Saneamento (Casan), in the early hours of last Wednesday (6), in Florianópolis (SC). ). According to the most recent Civil Defense data, 280 families were directly affected, totaling 686 people. Twenty homes were interdicted, and 59 vehicles removed.
There were no deaths or seriously injured people, but some needed medical attention. The result of the accident was less serious because the leak occurred in the early hours of the morning. The water arrived, for example, at a daycare center, which, due to the time of day, was empty.
The material losses, however, are incalculable. Many families lost all their belongings. Male and female workers were left without access to goods needed to guarantee their sources of income, such as cars and household equipment. The neighborhoods affected, Monte Cristo, Sapé, Jardim Atântico and Coloninha, are located in a peripheral region.
Members of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) work with families on the front line to try to recover what can be recovered and return a little bit of normality after the spill of about 2 million liters of water. The support effort registered in the first hours after the incident no longer has so many people.
“On the second day, the scenario was already different, there were a lot less people. It is something that we see in this type of disruption: in the first days we have a lot of assistance, and then it becomes empty. There were people who had to go to work and leave the house as it was because there was no way to miss work. At the same time, many people depended on what they had at home to work, such as app drivers who lost a car, lost a motorcycle”, lamented Mariah Wuerges, member of the national coordination of the MAB .
In a meeting this Friday afternoon (8), company representatives announced the payment of financial compensation for part of the losses with material goods. These payments, according to Casan, begin to be made on Saturday (9). In order to receive the value relative to everything that was lost, those affected will have to prove to the company the size of the damage. For the MAB, the proposal is not enough.
“This does not include what we have been fighting, which is fair. We believe that, at this first moment, in addition to the advance, there must be an emergency maintenance budget to cover these expenses, which are extra expenses. People will spend their own assets to be able to support themselves in this moment of despair”, explained Wuerges.
:: Those affected by dams defend PL that creates a policy to guarantee the rights of these populations ::
The MAB invited those affected to a meeting last Thursday (7) to pass on guidelines and accept the demands of the families. Casan and the Civil Defense are registering the affected people, and the orientation is for all those who suffered losses to register to seek compensation. The lack of a specific policy for repairs for this type of incident makes the search difficult, and registration is a form of guarantee.
In another case involving Casan in the capital of Santa Catarina, the sewage leak that reached the Lagoa da Conceição region, people who did not formally report their losses had even more difficulty proving the damage caused and seeking compensation.
“The organizational tool is what guarantees that people are informed, that they are able to participate and also that the damages are effectively recognized. This is our historical experience, of more than 30 years of acting in this type of case. We do not have any protection in the legislation, there is no institution, there is no tool”, summarized Wuerges.
Some families were accommodated in hotels paid for by the company, which agreed to pay for the accommodation after pressure. The MAB demands that all families whose housing is compromised, including those living on rent, have hotel accommodation guaranteed for at least 90 days. Furthermore, it requires the recording of all losses to prevent house cleaning from compromising the collection of destroyed belongings. The demands are part of a broader list, which can be read in full here. Casan had not responded to the Movement until this Friday afternoon.
Company will inspect structures
Residents who were affected by last Wednesday’s leak had already reported problems with the structure, which began operating less than two years ago, according to the MAB. Palliative repairs failed. The damage could have been greater, as the reservoir contained water equivalent to only a quarter of its maximum capacity.
Last Thursday (7), the company’s management stated that all reservoirs will undergo general inspections within a period of up to five working days, that is, until the next 14th. Casan claims that it has approximately 1,030 reservoirs installed in Santa Catarina, 483 of which were made of concrete, the same material as the reservoir that ruptured on Wednesday.
The company also informed that its technical teams are working to assess the damage “so that an anticipation of compensation for losses is defined as soon as possible” – which was announced at this Friday’s meeting. The process has the support of community leaders, the Fire Department, the Military Police, Civil Defense, the State Secretariat for Social Assistance, Women and the Family, the Municipal Secretariat for Public Security and the Municipal Guard.
Editing: Geisa Marques