Social Issues

A slum in the heart of Lisbon

By Cynthia de Benito

Lisbon, Sep 26 (efe-epa).- Three streets in the heart of Lisbon have turned into a slum neighborhood.

In the precarious buildings, which sometimes lack water, light and bathrooms, residents accustomed to fighting poverty are calling for help to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t even know how to explain the conditions in which we live,” murmurs Adelina Silva, who has lived for five years in a tiny, ramshackle house with a floor threatening to collapse.

It is damp, with windows that do not open, possessions piled up in case she has to run away and filled with the stench of a septic tank that borders one of the walls of the house.

These are her living conditions, which she shares with her husband and 16-year-old son.

“I’m tired of living like this. I need a break,” she adds.

After more than a decade looking for social housing, unemployed and with the risk of coronavirus looming, she is calling for Quinta do Ferro to be reformed.

Quinta do Ferro is a tiny neighborhood in Lisbon comprising of three streets in a privileged area around five minutes walk from the Pantheon and other tourist attractions.

While the city has flourished this neighborhood, which was built in the 1930s, has closed in on itself, forgotten and gradually turned into a slum.

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