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Waste dump, Gameleiro in Olho Dagua das Flores, Brazil


Since 2002, about 60 families of the quilombola community of Gameleiro, located in the countryside of Olho Dagua das Flores, have been fighting against a waste dump located only 300 meters from their houses. Although the quilombola community of Gameleiro have been living on those lands for over 300 years, only in March 2008 it was officially recognized by the Brazilian State. But the City Government does not act as per the national and international law on this issue. Traditional communities should in fact be consulted and informed about the risks of any infrastructure projects that have direct or indirect impacts on their traditional territories. Not even the national legislation on solid waste was honoured by the city of Olho Dagua das Flores.

The waste dump was deployed on the ground on the top level of the community area and therefore it has caused accidents in rainy seasons. The accumulated garbage is loaded by flash flooding and released violently against the houses and other buildings in the community, causing significant material damage. In November 2008, even with little support, the quilombolas have achieved that Olho Dagua das Flores City Governmemt suspended solid waste sent to the waste dump and the transfer temporarily to a ditch in the locality known as Sitio Areias. However, the community still remains subject to the impacts of deposited waste, which decomposes in the dump and contaminates the soil, and favour rats reproduction and diseases.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Waste dump, Gameleiro in Olho Dagua das Flores, Brazil
State or province:Alagoas
Location of conflict:Olho dagua das Flores
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:
Domestic municipal waste

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Olho dagua das Flores City Hall from Brazil
Relevant government actors:Ministrio Publico Federal - MPF, Ministrio Publico do Estado da Bahia - MPE-BA, Fundacao Cultural Palmares - FCP, Instituto do Meio Ambiente de Alagoas - IMA, Instituto de Terras e Reforma Agrria de Alagoas - Iteral, Tribunal de Justica do Estado de Alagoas
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Associacao Quilombola de Gameleiro, Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais de Olho Dagua das Flores

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Noise pollution, Soil contamination
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Infectious diseases, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Land demarcation
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Project cancelled
Development of alternatives:Waste dump should be located away from the households in order to preserve healthy environment, air, and waters. Waste should also be properly treated and processed.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The waste dump was closed and the landfill proposed to replace it will be moved to another location.

Sources and Materials

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

ALAGOAS EM TEMPO REAL. Incendio atinge comunidade quilombola em Olho Dgua das Flores. Disponvel em: Acesso em: 27 fev. 2009.

FUNDAO CULTURAL PALMARES. Fundao Palmares certifica mais 9 comunidades quilombolas. Disponvel em: Acesso em: 27 fev. 2009.

MINISTRIO PBLICO DO ESTADO DE ALAGOAS. Prefeitura Municipal interdita lixo de Olho dgua das Flores. Disponvel em: Acesso em: 27 fev. 2009.

KOINONIA. Prefeitura implanta lixo e afeta quilombolas de Gameleiro. Disponvel em: Acesso em: 27 fev. 2009.

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Vídeo / Jornal da Pajuçara Noite

Meta information

Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update08/04/2014