An increase occurred downstream of the Ituango hydroelectric project, on May 12, 2018, meant the destruction of 70 houses and the affectation of another 162. This and other impacts, such as environmental, are those that have been recorded during the first year that meets the contingency of this energy infrastructure.
As EPM explains, on April 28, 2018, an event occurred that broke the project’s history in two. For the date, the advances in its construction meant an evolution of 87%, with a correct fulfillment of the chronogram and budget. However, that day the de-registration of the Auxiliary Deviation Gallery (GAD) meant the beginning of this contingency.
According to the statements delivered by the general manager of EPM, Jorge Londoño de la Cuesta, the complexity of the situation today marks the culmination of the first of three years of recovery work.
To date, “milestones” have been achieved, such as plugging one of the tunnels and emptying the powerhouse, through which the water from the Cauca River was passing, among others that have allowed the risk to the communities that have been seen, or that could be affected, decrease, according to EPM.
It is important to mention that there is still a red alert about the municipality of Puerto Valdivia, a situation that would end after placing a pre-plugin one of the tunnels. These and other actions are what EPM hopes to carry out soon.
Isabel Cristina Zuleta is the director of Ríos Vivos Antioquia, in an interview with El Espectador on April 9, was emphatic in stating that the project still does not restore trust to the communities, nor does it repair the material, social and environmental damages generated.
“On the banks of the reservoir there are many abnormal landslides and this generates uncertainty. We need to restore confidence, we need serious and independent studies to tell us if the project is viable or not, “he said.
This spokeswoman reinforced her argument by saying that, if EPM had controlled the emergency, Puerto Valdivia would not remain on red alert, if more than 100,000 fish would have been killed.
For its part EPM ensures that communities are the main pillar of their priorities, below the care for the environment and the project itself.
While acknowledging that this work of energy infrastructure has meant the affectation of many families, they say they have advanced efforts to try to repair the damage. Proof of this is the help of $ 1,100,000 each of these households receives and the restitution and relocation of the houses that were destroyed by the increase, among other educational, psychological and social care.
However, the 162 homes that have been affected have not received a destination of money to repair them, de la Cuesta assures that this has been the case because the emergency is still in force, which is why an investor would be nonsense.
“We can not make reparations because of that, we are on red alert and the order is to evacuate. This for the moment, “he stressed.
In total, EPM estimates that it has invested more than $ 20,000 million in aid for the affected communities, which represent 17,184 people who make up 5,626 families.