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9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999

Section 12: Posters

Paper 12.3

Construction of Wire Mesh Concrete Cistern in the Xixiaklhá Community of the Indigenous Fulni-ô, Águas Belas - Pernambuco

Risoneide Gomes da Silva
CIMI, Paulo Afonso, BA Brasil
Tel: (075)968-1702

Abstract

The Fulni-ô people are the last remaining of the indigenous people in the state of Pernambuco. They live in the county of Águas Belas, in the semiarid region, about 310 km from the state capital Recife. Until today, the 11,500 ha of lands promised to the Indians in 1877 by the provincial government have not been handed over. Currently there are about 4,000 Fulni-ô. They are divided among those living in the main aldeia (indigenous village) Fulni-ô, the small aldeia Xixiaklhá and those who try their luck in other cities and states.

Among the Fulni-ô, the Xixiaklhá, consisting of 14 families, are the poorest. This community is the one suffering the most from the lack of water. They are far from the city and they have no water supply system. The people have been consuming the water from the creeks, which carry the sewage from the city.

Various institutions had been trying to establish activities necessary for survival, such as a community garden or the construction of a cistern holding 4,000 liters of water. But it has been in vain. Because of the crystalline subsoil the construction of a well made with a pile-rammer (CHECK) did not work either. After various discussions between CIMI (Conselho Indigenista Missionário-Missionary Indigenous Council), IRPAA (Instituto Regional da Pequena Agropecuária Apropriada-Regional Institute for Appropriate Agriculture), Polo Sindical (Trade Union Umbrella Organization) of Petrolândia and the indigenous community, it was decided to build wire mesh concrete cisterns as the best solution to provide drinking water for the people.

With the construction of 14 cisterns for all the houses in the Xixiaklhá community, CIMI is aware that not all problems were solved, but at least it's a point of departure to provide the Fulni-ô and other indigenous people of the semiarid Northeast with the means of living with the semiarid climate and to strengthen their culture and autonomy.

PDF of full document (2pp, 11kb)


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