Mega Dams South America

Belo Monte Dam
      Soc 120
    Kathy Moyer
    Robert Olson
                                                    Sep 5, 2010          

Plans to build a towering hydro-electric dam on the Xingu (Shin-goo) River were conceived in the 1970s, but, have been repeatedly staled. In 1989 these issues were again brought up. The Indians of the Amazon area ban together and stopped it once again. The indigenous peoples protested it and won. Now in 2010 some twenty years later these companies bid on the land again and won. The Belo Monte Dam and five others will now be built on the Xingo and Amazon Rivers. The Kayapo, Aura, Menina’co, and Jaulapiti tribes are just a few that live in the area of the dam site. These indigenous peoples depend on the river for food and transportation. They also hunt and farm on these lands. They don’t destroy the land in anyway, they use the slash and burn method and when they move on to another area this land grows back. There are villages all along the rivers; some have as many as 6,000 people and others as few as 50. They use natural plant materials to build the homes and villages. The trees and plant life are a source of food and medicines. The government set this land aside for these tribes. There is an estimated amount of 170 tribes in these areas and many are isolated tribes. There cultures are of many years old and to change this would mean genocide from most all tribes.
Many of the tribes have not been contacted about the impacts of the dams. These tribes use the rivers as a form of travel and fishing. This is there supermarket. Hydropower dams do cause the flooding of large areas of land; displace wildlife, people, and much of the fish in the rivers. The turbines kill large fish when turned on. They alter the natural flow of the rivers and cause problems for migrating fish. Fish spawn in running water and this will cause less spawning; in turn there will be less fish. Building on the rivers and...