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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

NameWaste dump, Gameleiro in Olho Dagua das Flores, Brazil
SiteOlho 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

Type of PopulationRural
Company Names or State EnterprisesOlho dagua das Flores City Hall from Brazil
Relevant government actorsMinistrio 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 organisations and other supportersAssociacao Quilombola de Gameleiro, Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais de Olho Dagua das Flores

The Conflict and the Mobilization

Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches


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-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseLand demarcation
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesWaste 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 as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The waste dump was closed and the landfill proposed to replace it will be moved to another location.

Sources and Materials


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.

Media Links

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Meta Information

ContributorDiogo Rocha
Last update08/04/2014