Every year, the state of Rio de Janeiro spends about R$ 50 billion due to the Guanabara Bay pollution. The final amount of the financial loss to the state of Rio was evaluated by the non-governmental organization (NGO) Baía Viva, using researches of local universities, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), and the Engineering Club, and it considers the impact on public health, transport, and tourism.
“There is an annual economic loss of R$ 50 Billion, with R$ 30 billion being due to the pollution of Guanabara Bay, and the R$20 billion left due to the urban mobility, such as the huge traffic in the metropolitan region,” said environmentalist Sérgio Ricardo, one of the founders of Baía Viva, when interviewed by Brazilian newsportal G1. The pollution puts the health of the local community and local tourism at risk. Also, once the Guanabara Bay has the structure to transport citizens, the traffic in the main avenues would be reduced, using fewer resources and saving time.
The NGO’s calculation considers:
– The income that would be acquired with tourism;
– The absence of transportation and urban mobility of citizens, workers the economic production itself;
– The excess of fossil-fuel consumption would be reduced;
– The impact in the health system budget to treat diseases acquired due to contact with dirty water, air pollution, and lack of basic sanitation.
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The region has already received a great investment to decontamination
One of the goals of the state of Rio de Janeiro to the 2016 Olympic games was to achieve the decontamination index of 80% in Guanabara Bay. Even after investing around R$ 10 billion during two decades, the results are far from acceptable. Nowadays, Guanabara Bay receives 90 tons of garbage a day and 18 thousand liters of sewage per second.
Agência Brasil (a Brazilian news agency) was told by the government, during the Olympic games, that the basic sanitation went from 12% in 2005 to 50% in 2016. To Sérgio Ricardo, from Baía Viva, the index was exaggerated, for it would take, at least, 25 years to completely clean up the water. “The committee affirms that we went from 10% to 50%. This is not true. Researchers of UERJ (University of the state of Rio de Janeiro) say that it was not even 20%. Today, we have around 18%,” affirms the environmentalist.
Since then, according to the CEDAE (State company of water and sewage of Rio de Janeiro), there was an investment of R$ 1.8 billion in the sanitary sewage system of the Guanabara Bay, and R$ 1.53 billion in the sanitary sewage system in Tijuca Bay – the elimination of pollution of the Jacarepaguá lakes was also a project for the Olympic Games in Rio, but it didn’t work out as planned.
Content published in February 28, 2019