The Renova Foundation takes measures to protect the health and well-being of its employees and society amidst the increased spread of the new coronavirus in Brazil. Decisions are made based on the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health.
The provisions cover both direct and outsourced employees who work in Renova’s administrative areas, as well as those involved in construction and other reparation activities carried out in the field.
The Renova Foundation monitors the spread of the coronavirus throughout the affected territory. It will continue to adopt, where necessary, prevention and safety actions by region following regional, national, and international protocols. The decisions and information shared on this page are regularly evaluated and updated according to changes in the scenario.
Health care support
- The renovation and expansion of the Children’s Psychosocial Care Center (CAPSij) in Mariana were completed and delivered to the municipality on May 15. The works had been halted on March 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but were resumed early April after an agreement between the Mariana Municipal Office and the Renova Foundation to use the new structure to support the public health system in actions related to COVID- 19.
- The approximately 60 health and social-protection professionals that work in Mariana and Barra Longa continue to serve the affected public, and are managed by the municipal health secretaries.
Community and those affected
- The loss of profit payment for 2019 was expected to be finalized on March 31. It was necessary to extend the deadline, given the social isolation guidelines everyone has to follow. The Renova Foundation continues to work remotely as not to impact those affected who have not been served yet.
- The offices of the Mediated Indemnity Program (PIM) and the Information and Service Centers (ISCs) were closed. The 0800 service line remains active, with the team adopting protocols for the prevention and adaptation of their work routine.
- Water supply in the towns that depend on the Renova Foundation – by water tank trucks and distribution of large mineral water jars – is kept in place. Water pumping in Linhares is also maintained.
Works and administrative services
- Administrative work is done remotely since March 16.
- On May 5, part of the works that were partially suspended on March 23 were resumed. The activities are continued in phases, starting with a small number of employees to avoid agglomerations.
- The resettlement works were resumed gradually, after approval of the Strategic Plan for Resumption of Activities by the Municipal Commission for Affairs related to Renova (Comar) of the Mariana Municipal Office. The Renova Foundation reinforces that all matters that may impact the resettlement deadlines are handled through Public Civil Action.
- In Bento Rodrigues, there are about 430 workers – out of the approximate 2,000 that were mobilized in total before the emergency decree – who are executing works focused on earthworks, containment, foundations and buildings. At this time, houses are being built in the resettlement of Bento Rodrigues by the construction company HTB and the lots of the properties are underway in different stages: lot containment, foundation, masonry and roofing. The Municipal School and the Health and Service Center are in the masonry stage.
- In Paracatu de Baixo, about 99 employees, out of a total of 1,098, are deployed in the following works: earthworks, foundations of houses with simplified licenses; and storm drains. The works are being carried out by the construction company Andrade Gutierrez, currently executing the following activities: landfill in section B, reinforced containment area; earthworks for access roads and lots; works for storm drains, water and sewage networks. In December 2019, the construction of the foundations of the first houses began.
- In the family resettlement, about 65 employees are deployed and working on the renovation of properties. The Renova Foundation acquired 41 properties for families that opted for this type of service provided for in the reparation guidelines for the right to housing. This modality is intended for households that chose not to return to collective resettlements. There are 15 properties to renovate, 24 properties to build, and 2 vacant lots.
- For the recovery of the Camargos waterfall, district of Mariana (MG), the following are planned: the removal of tailings; the revitalization of the well; and the revegetation of the surrounding forest. For the resumption of works, six employees from Mariana will be mobilized and will work outdoors, 500 meters away from the urban center of the district.
- The works to improve the Mariana Sanitary Landfill (MG) were resumed with about 58 workers to assemble the structure of the recycling depot and finalize the administrative building, in addition to earthworks. The improvement works will guarantee that the waste is inserted in duly watertight places, in order to prevent contact between the garbage and the natural terrain.
- The renovation of the Gomes Freire Square, in Mariana (MG), was resumed. Accessibility, street lightning, landscaping and furniture are being improved considering the historical aspects of the square that dates from the end of the 19th century. About 20 workers are digging outdoors with the use of equipment in an area of 5,000 m², surrounded by hoarding panels, which guarantees the execution of the work without agglomeration.
The works were resumed according to the following safety measures:
In structuring and planning the resumption of works, the Renova Foundation followed guidelines from official bodies. The use of local labor is a priority. Employees from outside Minas Gerais (migrated) return to work only when strictly necessary (contract managers, engineers or operators of specific machines that do not exist in the region). In situations where this is the case, professionals need to stay in quarantine for at least twelve days. Those who are back to the job now, have gone through this period of isolation. Other measures are:
- Non-mobilization of people over the age of 60 and with pre-existing diseases.
- Availability of masks and alcohol hand sanitizer.
- Daily measurement of employees’ body temperature.
- Reduced occupancy on buses and vans to provide more space between passengers.
- Increase, when applicable, in the number of vehicles to transport employees.
- Everyone must maintain a safe distance of 1.5m in the cafeteria and in other environments.
- Meals served at special times and in the form of a lunchbox.
- Intensification of hygiene in work areas.
- Application of health conditions questionnaire and temperature measurement.
- Isolation of employees in case of flu symptons.
- Conducting tests on employees with kits purchased for suspected cases.
- Daily analyses of the pandemic guide the decisions to expand or reduce teams and works, always considering the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and medical and health authorities. Decisions are constantly evaluated and adapted to changes in the scenario.
- Most of the activities in the field have been suspended. The measure covers training and collective activities. Seedling production for forest restoration has not been discontinued but preventive measures have been adopted.
- In the Upper Doce River region, animal feed supply and animal care activities at the Castro Farm and Agua Branca Farm continue, with actions to mitigate the risks of contamination or spread of the virus.
Boosting the local economy
- The Develop the Doce River working capital fund, created by the Renova Foundation in 2017 and managed by the Minas Gerais Development Bank (BDMG) and Espirito Santo Development Bank (Bandes), adopted emergency actions to support micro and small businesses in the affected municipalities in face of the crisis caused by covid-19. In addition to reducing the interest rate to 0.45% per month for credit to micro and small companies, the Financial Transaction Tax (IOF) and the Credit Analysis and Opening Rate (TAAC) are now included in the line of credit. The fund is meant for undertakings in the municipalities affected by the collapse of the Fundao dam in Mariana (MG).
- The Renova Foundation assists informal workers to become registered Individual Microentrepreneurs (MEI). With this registration the professional can issue invoices for services rendered, and has access to credit lines from banks with special conditions and lower interest rates. It also gives access to rights such as retirement, maternity leave and sickness benefits. There are informational booklets and videos available, and there is a team on hand to assist with their registration.
- Versions of the collaborative map #fiqueemcasa were created for the towns of Linhares in Espirito Santo, and Mariana, Governador Valadares and Ipatinga, in Minas Gerais. The tool helps micro and small entrepreneurs to connect with those who want to shop or hire services without leaving home. The maps will be active for as long as health officials recommend social isolation.
Since the Renova Foundation serves several audiences, it is distributing reliable information about the pandemic.
- Communication with the territory was expanded, and the affected population is receiving information about the coronavirus through the official Renova channels, placing the knowledge of the team and its partners at the service of the communities.
- Through Radio programs and WhatsApp messages, information is shared throughout the territory about coronavirus prevention, mental health, financial tips, among others.