The BR 364 highway connects the capital of Acre, Rio Branco, across the
states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso with the rest of Brazil. The
presence of this highway was one of the conditions for the Invasion of the
cattle raisers and loggers and the growth of the cities. The
deforestations and land conflicts occurred mainly along the highway.
Especially in Rondônia in the course of the settlement project "Pólonoroeste"
that was financed by the World Bank, invasions of Indian territory and
uncontrolled woodcutting took place. In Acre many thousands of traditional
inhabitants of the rain forest who had lost their subsistence were drawn
to Rio Branco. However,
the possibilities to make a living are little for the new city dwellers,
most of them being without money and illiterate. In many cases this
situation leads to prostitution, drug-trafficking and robbery. Waste
disposal in Rio Branco is insufficient, which causes uncontrolled dumping
on empty properties and as a result the contamination of the underground
water and the wells. Many people burn the waste. In Acre as well as in the
entire Amazon exists the tradition of slash-burning. Also the dry grass
and bushes are burned by the end of the dry season in order to prepare the
ground as pasture or field. Therefore (apart from the global environmental
consequences) in the months of August and September the air is full of
smoke and infants especially suffer from respiratory problems.
Since the beginning of the nineties the BR 364 is asphalted all the way to Rio Branco and can be used throughout the year. A continuing highway through Acre connecting Brazil with Peru and the Pacific coast is planned. This plan wasnt executed so far because of the lack of funds. The impact of the completion of this highway on the population of Acre and Rio Branco and the plants and animals of the rain forest would be incalculable...
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