Lack of sewage treatment a public health issue, warns environmental group

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For the Collective of Environmental Organizations of Oaxaca (COAO), the lack of sewage treatment programs in Puerto Escondido has become a public health issue.

“We see official, governmental indifference at all levels, and we’ve witnessed it on Playa Principal, where [sewage discharge] is less than 20 meters from the sea,” warned COAO head Nazario García Ramírez.

He pointed out that when visitors bathe in the waters at that beach they are greeted by foul odors.

García acknowledged that there are efforts by environmental organizations from abroad, working on clean-up efforts and collecting PET plastic, which is not enough.

The environmental activist questioned the permits granted by municipal, state and federal authorities for the construction of large hotels, a situation that contributes to contamination because of the sewage they discharge into the ocean.

“Tourism development is important in a state like Oaxaca, and especially on the coast, but it must be accompanied by infrastructure works that care for the environment,” he said.

For example, he questioned the “white elephant” that the Puerto Escondido Wastewater Treatment Plant has become, claiming it is all but useless and the wastewater goes directly into the sea.

“. . . pollution has not been given the attention it deserves, and that is very serious,” he said.

The activist pointed out that it is urgent to apply the law against businesses, hotels or homes that in Puerto Escondido are dumping sewage into the sea.

“Wastewater treatment plants urgently need to be rehabilitated or their operation checked, because they have not been operational during several state administrations, and now we also lack urban solid waste management centers,” he concluded.

With reports from El Imparcial


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