Representatives of 223 of the 236 families which used to live in Bento Rodrigues (district of Mariana), chose on May 7th, the site where the new community will be built. With 92% of the votes, the site known as Lavoura was the winner. The criteria for the voting were defined together with the residents as well as representatives of the Public Prosecution Service.
The chosen site covers an area of 350 hectares and is located on the route of the Estrada Real, the Royal Road, some 8 km from Mariana and 9 km from the former district of Bento Rodrigues. Lavoura offers favorable topography, easy access to public transportation, good water supply and proximity to springs, in addition to quality soil for planting and raising livestock.
The process leading up to the selection of the site followed strict rules, since it was necessary to listen to the wishes of all of the approximately 700 residents of the district. Thirty seven meetings were held, as well as four town hall meetings, and two visit programs to the pre-qualified sites were carried out – Lavoura, Carabina and Bicas.
The election was held in Mariana and had 94% of community voting. According to the criteria defined between the residents and the Public Prosecutor Service, which accompanied the election, it was necessary to involve at least 60% of the voters. To further ensure the process integrity, Ernest & Young.
was hired to audit it.
According to Antonio Pereira Gonçalves, member of the Bento Rodrigues Residents Committee, the election process was fundamental for the validation of the community’s choice. “The community was already leaning to one of the possible sites, but this election was essential to confirm this preference. This is the site that is closest to Bento Rodrigues, and has good land for planting and is rich in water supply. In Lavoura, we feel like we are in Bento Rodrigues”, he said.
The next step will be a deepening of the technical feasibility studies of the area. Thenwill be the definition of the urban layout, with houses as well as common use areas such as squares, schools, health service centers, religious temples and soccer fields. According to the agreement signed with the federal government and the governments of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, as well as other government entities, Samarco has three years in which to reconstruct Bento Rodrigues. But Samarco will spare no efforts to finish the construction within the shortest time possible.
How the process of choosing a new location for the reconstruction of Bento Rodrigues has been taken?