Rio`s Water Pollution
August 17, 2016
CNN Student News - August 17, 2016
What Contributes to Rio`s Water Pollution
We`ve been looking at several different aspects of the ongoing Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One major and very public challenge for the South American city, pollution, especially in the water, in places like Guanabara Bay where sailing events are held.
In its bid to get the Olympics, Rio officials promised they`d clean up the pollution flowing into the water. And last weekend, the communications director for the games said the water levels at the venues were satisfactory, though there`s still work to do.
To explain how the bay got so polluted in the first place, we`re taking you inside the city.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT:
Rio`s sailing venue is called the dirtiest Olympic athletes have ever competed in. Floating garbage, even a sofa seething with raw sewage. You`ve seen the pictures. We want to show you where it`s all coming from.
Even after recent improvement, only half of homes in Rio connected to a sanitation network. All you have to do is head uphill, that`s where you find raw sewage and garbage flowing freely between houses.
In the sprawling favela of Rocinha, Jose Martin Rivera (ph) has been fighting for basic services for decades.
"If we had sewage systems, we`d have good health, he says. Instead, we have tuberculosis, rashes and gastrointestinal infections."
He takes us on a tour of some of the 23 open sewage canals he`s documented in the neighborhood.
Oh my God!
Here you can really see what this is all about. You have pipes coming straight out of people`s bathrooms and kitchens, dripping the sewage down.
There are even rats running around. It doesn`t get worse than this.
Flushed out, untreated, families of rats and the smell that just makes you gag, flowing past houses and along footpaths, whisking trash along with it especially in heavy rains. Until it all ends up on Rio`s beaches, in the lagoon where rowers are competing, Team USA armed with anti-microbial suits, and Guanabara Bay sailors and wind surfers are warned to shut their mouths against the toxic spray.
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