Rio struggles with sanitation

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The beautiful game in a beautiful city, but what lies beneath is not so appealing.

"There's a lot of sewage coming into the water here,” says Leona Decklebaum from the NGO Meu Rio Sanitation. She says sanitation is one of Rio de Janeiro’s unsightly problems.

“They say that it's 18,000 litres of sewage untreated entering the water systems in Rio, per second,” she says.

Aside from the rubbish and waste, about 60 per cent of sewage flows untreated into the city's waterways.

"If you're swimming in it, your chance of getting salmonella, hepatitis, it just all increases,” says Ms Decklebaum.

The lack of priority placed on sanitation is a daily reality for many living in Rio and it's most prevalent in the city’s numerous favelas.

Urban Geographer Tucker Landesman says there were big plans for the city’s largest favela, but nothing came into fruition.

"The state promised full sanitation infrastructure in Rocinha years ago, with major infrastructure investment, it was never finished and now they've entered in with a new investment, to build a cable car. Which many of the residents say they don't want or need."

The worst water quality is found in Guanabara Bay, over a hundred kilometres in perimeter and the sailing venue for the 2016 Olympics.

Leona Decklebaum and Meu Rio have tried to raise awareness of raw sewage at popular beaches, but she says the message isn't quite getting through.

 

 

Source SBS

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