Iberdrola throttles back on the ‘dam heartbreak’

Spanish electricity company Iberdrola has throttled back on the reported heartbreak that it was causing 52 families, forcibly removed from their homes to make way for a series of hydroelectric dams.

Following a meeting in Porto this week, João Noronha mayor of Ribeira de Pena has announced the company has increased the value it is prepared for ‘expropriations’, as well as agreeing to ‘support the costs of building new homes’ and covering the temporary rental costs of families as they wait for them to be built.

This is a vast step forwards from the situation reported last month in which families were being forced from the homes they loved – and had worked their lives to afford – into containers, with no outside space (click here).

Said Noronha, the containers are now being dismantled as those already in them are being offered ‘decent (rental) properties’.

As to the increased money on offer, this will also be extended to the few families who had already agreed to Iberdrola’s terms and moved out of their properties to make way for the connecting dams of Daivões, Alto Tâmega and Gouvães.

The new values payable are 950 euros per square metre, said Noronha, and the cheques should be coming through by the end of January.

As reports have explained, right now focus is on the area of Ribeira de Pena as the Daivões dam should start filling up in June 2020, at which time 43 properties will disappear underwater.

Their owners welcomed the news this week, with 70-year-old Maria da Glória Gonçalves bursting into tears of emotion and telling reporters: “Finally, I can sleep properly again!”

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