Topographical analysis of the area on the Morro dos Prazeres has made government officials reconsider the complete eviction of the hilltop community.
A year after the landslides that left 34 residents residents from the Morro dos Prazeres dead, the local government has decided not to remove 1,700 homes in that community. According to Geo-Rio, who conducted the studies, the investment needed to make the surrounding areas safe enough to build on would be cost prohibitive and not allow any future projects to be viable. This new study by Geo-Rio ends concerns that the Morro would be completely evicted, as had been previously proposed. In fact, this new study calls for only 13.5% of existing houses to be removed, or 229 total houses. A majority of these house were located in the center of the danger zone during the record rains of 2010. This news could be a blessing in disguise for residents of Laboriaux, a favela community in Rocinha. During last year’s record rains Eduardo Paes said that Laboriaux would be evicted, since it was no longer safe for residents to continue living. However, many residents took his words as a veiled reason to remove residents from their homes for ulterior motives. But the re-evaluation or Morro dos Prazeres could potentially lead to a re-evaluation of Laboriaux.
Municipal Minister of Housing Jorge Bitter confirmed Paes’ comments from the previous years, but the new geological and topographical studies, which were conclude in February, provide some comfort for residents of Prazers. Geo-Rio says that it will continue to study the surrounding areas, and future results from studies could provide welcomed news by Laboriaux residents.