False promises

Published: Wednesday 30 April 1997

after waiting for ten years for promised returns, Brazilian peasants who were forced to leave their land to make way for the Itaparica dam in northeastern Brazil, are petitioning the World Bank for the irrigation facilities they were promised. They are asking the Bank's independent inspection panel to investigate the Itaparica resettlement and irrigation project according to which six irrigation projects were to be provided to compensate local communities who were displaced by the dam. But the locals have complained that the project has failed them. The Itaparica dam was constructed in the late 1980s with financial support from the World Bank.

The petition has been filed by 121 community leaders and a local union of tenants and small, independent farmers.The petition also details the decline in standards of living and failing health of people living along the Sao Francisco river in the north-eastern Brazilian states of Bahia and Pernambuco.

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