It is curious that natural disasters are unpredictable and governments establish early warning systems and trigger mechanisms to respond quickly when they happen to mitigate its effects, writes Luis Samacumbi. For the demolition of Lubango, one or the other mechanism was implemented but the disaster was caused by a decision without weighing the consequences of such an act. If it were possible such disasters would be avoided. In the case of Angola disasters are created.
The municipality of Lubango has 3 Communes namely: Arimba, Kilemba, and Hoque.Lubango is the most populous Municipality of Huila province (about 20% of the population).The highest density in city of Lubango. Lubango has a surface area of 3140 km2 and a population estimated at 1,414,115. 350 to 500 thousand of people lives in Lubango city, most of them live in suburbs in houses built of mud made bricks (adobe) without the minimum sanitary conditions. The demolitions began Saturday March 6th, 2010. The next day raised dustier than other days. It was the dust of homes knocked down the day before. Independent media are prevented from collecting information with more evidence. The whole operation is surrounded by a strong police apparatus preventing people from taking photographs as well as from interviewing people on site to compile data with greater statistical accuracy.
There is no place in the neighborhood or near where people may seek information about the criteria, process, where people will be taken, what will be there future and what compensation they can expect from the government. The Governor of the province hosted a radio program to clarify all doubts of the population, with limited impact, because people strived for meetings at their neighborhoods level. Moreover, the tone of the interview was more intimidating than the possibility of negotiation. The whole operation is characterized with a tone of arrogance. According to information gathered the houses to be torn down are at the foot of the mountain, underneath and beside the power lines, in riverbeds, beside rivers, along the water pipes and along the railway lines. In the first phase is being torned down houses within 50 meters from the railway line. Updated Information say the radius is 25 meters.
However the first 3 days the damage was already done. The Moçamedes railway line - CFM pass through the city of Lubango in an extension of approximately 10 km. Judging by the way people build houses of adobe, it is estimated that more than 10 thousand dwellings will be referred in this process. Considering that the average population density of the population is 5 people, then it is estimated that more than 50,000 people will be affected. The problem could reach apocalyptic proportions when the Government of Huila Province move to Phase II (demolitions under and next to power lines in the foothills of the mountain, the beds of rivers, etc.).
Currently there are no detailed information and mathematical rigor to describe the suffering of people. Although it is said that people were advised 15 days prior, the time given was not enough to prepare given the scale of the problem.
Here the customer inventory of the social dimension of the problem:
• Heavy damage and substantial destruction of people’s homes. People have lost their homes and other properties such as gardens, businesses and clients, privileged areas in terms of access.
• People are being concentrated in a camp with tents without the minimum conditions in terms of environmental sanitation.
• The “concentration camps” are Chavola 10 km from the city center. The tents were being distributed over and therefore the families began to be concentrated in the April 14 School in the district of Senhora do Monte, School 1st of December and Tundavala football stadium the new stadium built in Kanginda area located 5 km from the city center.
• Some schools will have to suspend classes because they were occupied by the homeless.
• Many children were forced to suspend classes because they were homeless and placed in distant areas of the school where they usually studied.
• Forecasts of the existence of epidemics because the population will live in these fields indefinitely.
• Interruption of the production process and peoples’ livelihoods.
• Probable increase in delinquency.
• Psychological trauma in the population that has destroyed their natural habitat and effort in vain for years to build investment properties.
• Families who sleep in the open with small children without food assistance.
• Adventist Church in full worship homeless and destroyed their temple.
• Homes popular in death, people had to be dispersed and obliged to continue with the awake elsewhere.
The police apparatus, the arrogance that surrounds the whole operation does not give chance to any type of reaction alone. The tone heard in clusters of shy people is of resignation, conversations in public blue vans, in the free markets and in the dead of night.
Fear and panic settled in the suburbs. The suspicion of being arrested for complaining, conformity is what it is seen. In the face of women’s we see tears of postponed future in the face of men impotence before a machine impossible to stop. It’s total chaos, despair and the beginning of a disaster that could reach apocalyptic proportions.