Saturday, April 12, 2008

Puerto Barrios Sewers in Disrepair

April 11, 2008

Ninety-five percent of the sewers / storm drains in the city of Puerto Barrios are uncovered and sewage sometimes floods across the ground and into Rio Escondido. Local residents complain that the river has been polluted for about 30 years and instead of pure water is more like a swamp which increases the risk of disease. About 250 homes suffer flooding from the collapse of the sewage system. Residents in the area bounded by 18th through 25th Calle and 1st through 8th Avenidas dread the coming of the rainy season. Sea level geography, poor construction, failure of government leadership, and irresponsible residents clogging the sewer system with trash results in a nightmare during the rainy season. When very heavy rains come, the flooding creates a drowning hazard for children. The local health director acknowledges that there is widespread pollution and the uncovered drainage ditches result in a plague of mosquitos that can spread dengue, malaria, and other diseases, not to mention the foul odors.

The Alcalde, David Pineda is aware of the situation and said the city will invest Q300,000 to clean out the system. To rebuild the whole system of storm drains and sewers will carry a price tag of Q100 million, which the city cannot afford, but the alcalde says that the government and foreign sources have promised to help.



Don Gato said...

The first time I went to Barrios about five years ago the sewers were in fair shape. In the last few years they have gotten worse and worse.

I sure hope they can get something done about this. It is a major health hazard as well as an eyesore and very obnoxiously odorous.

If you are not careful when walking around you could easily fall into a four or five foot deep sewer filled with stuff you don't even want to know about.

ShutterSparks / KW2P said...

Exactly. The problem has reached crisis proportions. The danger you mention is worse during the rainy season and is a genuine hazard to children who might drown.

Apparently the city is working with the government and international sources to come up with the aid needed to really fix it right. After 30 years of neglect, the whole system needs to be rebuilt.

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