A total of 6.7bn reais (US$3.4bn) is needed to provide 100% sanitation coverage in the 12 Brazilian cities selected to host matches during the 2014 World Cup, according to a study requested by NGO Instituto Trata Brasil (ITB).
The study showed the cities of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais), São Paulo, Salvador (Bahia) and Rio de Janeiro have the highest number of people with sewage collection services with 97.1%, 88.5%, 87.8% and 83.7% respectively.
Brasília has 80.2% coverage, Curitiba (Paraná) 79.4% and Fortaleza (Ceará) 54.6%, an ITB release said.
Collection rates below 50% were reported in Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul), Recife (Pernambuco) and Cuiabá (Mato Grosso) with 49.3%, 47.1% and 41.2% respectively. Manaus (Amazonas) and Natal (Rio Grande do Norte) came in with the lowest coverage of 35.0% and 21.3%.
The study was carried out by economic think tank Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV).
Source: BNamericas [subscription site], 07 Jul 2009
Thames Water has launched an information campaign after a survey revealed almost half of its customers flush unsuitable things down the loo.
The campaign ‘Bin it – don’t block it‘ is an attempt to stop what the firm calls ‘sewer abuse’ and follows research by the company into what people believe can be thrown down a toilet.
According to the survey 41% customers flush something they shouldn’t down toilets and one in four women wrongly think sanitary items can go down the u-bend. [So far in 2009, Thames Water] has had to deal with 55,000 blockages in London and the Thames Valley, resulting in flooding to 7000 homes and gardens.
“The majority of blockages are caused by sewer abuse, when things like cooking fat, sanitary products and wet wipes are wrongly put down toilets and drains, often causing misery for thousands of people because they block sewers, leading in some cases to waste backing up into people’s homes.
[Part of the problem is caused by] confusing and misleading product labelling which encourages customers to flush unsuitable items, including toddler wipes and sanitary items.
[...] As well as raising awareness, Thames Water is currently working with the water industry and with trade associations to implement long-term solutions.
Source: Luke Walsh, edie, 05 Aug 2009
Zimbabwe has activated its national disaster response agency, the Civil Protection Unit (CPU), to counter the spread of cholera. [...] The CPU is usually deployed in the wake of national disasters, such as floods and droughts. [It had been] mandated to provide clean water [with assistance from UNICEF and WHO], even though this was the responsibility of the state-owned Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).
[...] The capital, Harare, including its central business district, has been without piped water for the past four days, while sewer bursts are being left unrepaired. [...] ZINWA confirmed that it has been pumping untreated sewage into Harare’s water supply dam, Lake Chivero.
[S]hallow wells people have dug to get to water when the taps stopped running are being decontaminated; refuse, which has not been collected this year, will now be collected, the CPU said.
Read more: IRIN, 05 Nov 2008
Rodgers Matsikidze, a human rights lawyer and resident of Budiriro, a high-density suburb in the capital Harare, told IRIN that persistent sewer pipe bursts had exposed the community to disease, especially cholera.
“Our dilemma is that we have not had running water for close to a month. In addition we had sewer pipes bursting, resulting in untreated effluent flooding most parts of the community. As you can obviously tell, there is an unpleasant smell in the air.
“As to be expected, many residents have dug shallow wells to try and access clean water. The danger is that sewage is seeping into the shallow wells, and with the rains that have been falling, the result could be an outbreak that could be difficult if not impossible to control.
Read more: IRIN, 27 Oct 2008
Peru’s government has declared a 60-day state of emergency in the sewerage system in capital Lima and neighboring Callao, to speed up repairs and new construction works. The executive decree will allow the La Perla pipeline to start operations, in spite of the local population’s protests; works to stabilise the retaining walls of the San Miguel pipeline; works to reduce the smell of the sewage; and once La Perla is working, authorities will close the interceptor norte pipeline for repairs. Additional works will include construction of a jetty to guide an underwater pipeline that will connect the San Miguel and La Perla ducts. The wastewater will receive biological pre-treatment before its disposal on the coast.
The emergency situation in Lima’s sewerage network was provoked by state-owned water utility Sedapal‘s inability to prevent the collapse of the Costanero sewage pipeline, in San Miguel district, in February 2008. The pipeline channels sewage from almost 24 districts in Lima and, since its collapse, the sewage is being dumped directly onto the beach. Sedapal has been accused of poor management by spending money on badly planned new wastewater projects and did not investing in improving the treatment plants that were already in operation.
Earlier, the president of national environmental council Conam, Manuel Bernales, said that a remediation plan to solve the pollution of Lima’s coastal waters by untreated wastewater, required an investment of about US$ 1 billion. The plan would be based on the wastewater treatment and reuse of part of the treated effluent to irrigate public areas.
Sources: BNamericas (subscription site), 21 Apr 2008 ; BNamericas, 18 Apr 2008 ; Living in Peru, 21 Apr 2008
BULAWAYO, 14 March 2008 (IRIN) – To get to Sinikiwe MaKhumalo’s doorstep in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, visitors have to step on a thin plank perched precariously over a trench that prevents sewage from flowing into her house. The 57-year-old grandmother has endured this arrangement to access her home in the city’s Old Magwegwe working class suburb for the past five months after a sewer burst close to her residence.
The city’s unsanitary conditions has left residents fearful of a fresh outbreak of cholera. The last outbreak occurred at the height of a water crisis in 2007 when close to 300 people were hospitalised and 11 died as a result of drinking contaminated water.
Most families can no longer afford standard toilet paper and instead use newspapers or torn pieces of cardboard boxes. They also river sand to clean their pots instead of commercial, soluble, scouring powders. Both practices lead to sewer blockages.
Read more: IRIN, 14 Mar 2008
AMMAN, 4 March 2008 (IRIN) – A crumbling sewage system in the city of Zarqa, 30km east of Amman, could trigger the spread of diseases on a large scale, according to community leaders and residents.
“We warned officials at the Ministry of Water on several occasions that the city’s sewage network is collapsing at a rapid pace under the mounting pressure of the population,” city mayor Mohammad Ghweiri told IRIN.