Brazil: Sanitation deficit “shameful” – expert

Nearly 50% of the nearly 200mn inhabitants of Brazil do not have access to sewerage networks, according to sanitation sector experts at a seminar in capital Brasília.

In addition, only a third of the sewage in the country is adequately treated, according to Raul Pinho, president of the institute Trata Brasil, which specializes in basic sanitation. Pinho said it is “shameful” that Brazil is among the most backward nations in the world in this sector, paper Ultimo Segundo reported.

While the government has invested around US$5.7bn in sanitation works during the last three years, different studies from the private sector show that about US$254bn needs to be invested to guarantee sewerage networks for the whole population, the report said.

It is an agenda that goes beyond the present government, because what are missing are long-term policies, compatible with the growth of cities and the population, Pinho said.

Experts that participated at the seminar attributed illnesses such as diarrhoea to the lack of sanitation. This illness is responsible for the annual deaths of nearly 2,500 children under five years in Brazil.

Source: BNamericas. com [subscription site], 22 Oct 2009

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