Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016 Update: Brazil Won't Meet Water Pollution Targets?

By Jay Cortez
on May 18, 2014 09:18 AM EDT
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Olympics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil won't be able to meet its goal of cleaning up the Guanabara Bay where the sailing events for the 2016 Olympic Games will be held, state environment officials admitted in a letter as reported by The Associated Press.

The AP report said that a letter was sent by Rio de Janeiro state environment secretary Carlos Francisco Portinho to Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo on May 7 asking for more funding assistance to support the depollution efforts. However, the environment official also acknowledged that it will take more than a decade to lessen the pollution in the bay where the sailing events are scheduled.

When they submitted their bid to host the staging of the summer spectacular in 2009, officials of the country promised that the waterways of the capital city would be cleaned in time for the 2016 Olympics.

However, with just two years left for the country to welcome hundreds of thousands of Olympians and sports officials plus millions more in spectators, more than 70 per cent of the sewage in Rio De Janeiro remains untreated.

The AP report also cites that the smell of raw sewage as well as photographs of waterways being polluted by garbage have become a major issue for authorities. Many groups representing Olympic athletes have questioned the possible health hazards of the waterways what with the Olympics just around the corner.

Last week, a report in the British media speculated that London has been tapped to host the Olympics once again due to the poor preparations of Brazil. However, the International Olympic Committee denied the rumor.

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