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On Friday, 11 May, the Renova Foundation started building the construction site for the New Bento Rodrigues community resettlement in Lavoura – the site chosen by the community to rebuild the town following the November 2015 failure of Samarco’s Fundão dam.

The site will house the offices and support structures for the contractors that will manage the construction works of the town once the necessary environmental licensing is obtained.

The first phase of earthworks are expected to be completed in 45 days, followed by the construction of the buildings - two offices and a cafeteria - which should be ready by July.

In the second phase the other buildings will be erected, including a medical room and workshops. This stage is due to be completed in September 2018 and the total construction area will then be ​​10,000m2.

Preparing the construction site ensures that the work to rebuild Bento Rodrigues is ready to start once Renova Foundation secures the required environmental licenses and undergoes the necessary land tenure regularization.

All the work aimed at the installation of the construction site had the consent of the Minas Gerais State Environment Secretariat (Semad), the Secretariat of Cities and Regional Integration of Minas Gerais (Secir) and the Municipality of Mariana as well as participation of the commission of impacted people of Bento Rodrigues.

The people of Bento Rodrigues approved the urban design for their new community on 8 February 2018. Once the necessary environmental licence is received, the construction phase of the new town’s infrastructure works will begin, including paving, drainage, sewage networks, water and energy distribution; this may be done simultaneously with the second stage of the construction site.

Parallel to the infrastructure works, the design of each residence will be discussed with each family. It is expected that the individual architectural designs of the houses will be completed in conjunction with the permits, which will allow the immediate start of their construction.

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