International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999
Section 12: Posters
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
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.
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