Footage and photos of a person walking on a river choked with garbage in Brazil is being widely shared on social media and prompted a discussion on waste management.
In the video, a man is seen walking on the Sarapuí River which lies to the west of Rio de Janeiro. The barefoot man is seen balancing on garbage as he crosses the water body.
The sea of rubbish is seen extending to the national park, which is a forest with high biodiversity.
The forested area was designated as a state park in 2013, partly to protect the region’s water resources. While the river witnesses severe flooding in the monsoon, the water recedes and polluted waste replaces it during the rest of the year.
According to a New York Times report, about half of the people living adjoining the river do not have waste processing systems. The Rio Sarapuí provides roughly 10 percent of the fresh water that feeds Rio’s Guanabara Bay, often carrying the sewage and garbage from upstream.
The government had promised to clean up Guanabara Bay before the Rio Olympics since it was chosen as the venue for the Olympic Games sailing competitions. However, as Guardian had reported at the time, the government had not taken any concrete steps in that direction.
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