Elements for a critical evaluation of the Brazilian program One Million of Rural Cisterns - P1MC
The program One Million of Rural Cisterns (P1MC) was designed in 2001 by the network of Brazilian organizations known as the Articulation of the Semiarid Regions (ASA). In 2003, the program gained a new impulse when it became institutionalized by the Ministry of Social Development and to Fight Hunger. In this year the federal government began to finance the construction of cisterns for rainwater collection, a main component of the program. By November 2013, some 500.410 cisterns had been built. Although the construction of the physical structures is at the center of ASA’s work, its goals are broader since they also involve the mobilization, participation and training of the beneficiaries to enable them to live in harmony with the semiarid environment. From the questioning of the actions and perspectives of the P1MC and work of ASA, based on empirical evidence, constructed from a comparative case study, which interact with a theoretical framework, this study identifies tensions between conceptions and practices of that program and presents an agenda for discussion. The case studies were developed in rural communities called Buracão, located in the municipality of Chapada do Norte, Minas Gerais state, and Poços das Pedras, municipality of São João do Cariri, Paraíba state. The methods used for data collection involved questionnaires, conducting open interviews and field observation. It is considerate to the technological dimension, the usefulness of the service, the program meets their immediate purposes. However, the pedagogical-citizen dimension, there are symptoms that indicate a progressive emptying of the proposal. In this perspective, the most conspicuous feature of the P1MC is related to the physical dimension, that is, the construction of the cisterns. Unfortunately, the objectives of mobilizing and developing the capacity of the population to live in harmony with the semiarid environment have not been fully achieved.
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