River pollution to cost billions

By bogotapost April 3, 2014

The state council has ordered the nation to develop a joint plan to decontaminate Bogotá’s river within a space of three years

Colombia’s high court is ardent that actions taken over recent years have been insufficient and that a comprehensive policy for the restoration of the river has not been accomplished. The country has now been given a maximum of 30 years to restore the river.

The river in Bogotá collects over one thousand tonnes of waste per day which has caused serious deterioration and pollution of its water. It has been reported to be one of the worst polluted rivers in the world.

Environmental Minister, Luz Helena Sarmiento, described the decision as “historic”. She told reporters that the ruling is difficult because, according to Magistrate Marco Antonio Velilla, the first stage of the river sanitation plan will cost about $6 billion COP.

According to Sarmiento, the river is polluted by tanneries, fertilizer runoff, sewage, industrial discharges and unauthorized miners. She explained that 80% of the waste comes from the capitals citizens.

The Bogotá river has had sanitation issues ongoing for over fifty years. Almost 10 years ago, the Cundinamarca Administrative Court ordered the Government to take urgent action to improve it.