Under the protocol signed, on November 16, 2022, between Bracara Augusta Foundation, AGERE, the University of Minho and the 37 Unions and Parish Councils, which provides for the collaboration of the School of Engineering, on World Water Day, the entities involved presented the first initiative of the project, entitled ‘Memories of the Tank’, which aims to rehabilitate the washbasins, irrigation tanks and public fountains of Braga.
In the presentation, which took place at Café Vianna and included a recreation of the washerwomen by the theater group MalaD’arTe, Rui Morais, AGERE’s executive director, spoke of the need to put “the heritage of water and water resources at the center of the discussion. “We can reuse these water resources, even if we have excellent water for human consumption in the municipality, we can reuse these resources for other purposes,” he points out.
The project started on March 22nd, in the parish of Sobreposta, with the identification of 40 infrastructures. The intention, according to Rui Morais, is, throughout the year, to identify the needs of each infrastructure in the 37 parishes, with the final goal being the rehabilitation and promotion of each one. The initiative also foresees the realization of cultural dynamization actions in each parish and the collection of testimonies of the oldest citizens of Braga.
“We want to do these historical recreations, talking to the people in the homes, the oldest people in the parishes,” he reveals, adding that, in his opinion, “if we don’t talk to those who lived these experiences, we will never have the historical truth of what happened. “Therefore, the goal is, in this first phase, to bring the memories, the stories, and the materials that people may have, such as photographs, to then create a whole historical narrative around each of these spaces,” he says.
The presentation was attended by Miguel Bandeira, president of the Bracara Augusta Foundation, who praised the importance of the project and of water. Representing the University of Minho, professor and researcher from the Civil Engineering Department of the School of Engineering, Paulo Ramísio highlighted “the ingenuity of our ancestors and the importance of the memories of our collective”. “Water is the most valuable asset on our planet,” he stressed, stressing the need to “treat it well.
Also present at the initiative, teacher Ana Maria Macedo stressed the need to “revitalize this heritage” and to “open the window to the past, transmitting to the younger people how things were a few years ago.