Peru-Water pollution adds to Peruvians’ financial hardship amid demands for action


Location: Lima, Peru

Language: Spanish

Duration: 00:05:28

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Subscribers

Dateline: 11-02-2022


Water pollution in Lima, Peru, has become a major issue for the city population, as they suffer from the high prices of drinking water due to the high cost of purifying polluted water. Water resources in Lima, a water project coordinator said, are contaminated because waste management companies tend to use them as dumping areas, increasing the cost of water treatment. An environmental expert explained that tourists are main polluters of rivers and seas, adding that mining and industrial activities also impact water resources. Peruvians demanded that the government take action to stop the pollution of water resources.


  • Soundbite (Pamela Jannet Quino Ramos- Project Coordinator for the Lima and Callao Water Fund, AQUAFONDO):

“The main factors that we have been able to see are the contamination by the drains, and in some cases also mining waste, those are the two problems, and the other thing is that they use the rivers like dumps. They use it as dumpsters and they deposit of their garbage there, and when the treatment plants want to do their cleaning through these filtration levels, they find garbage in the first level, in the second level excretes, and in the third level different contaminants, so then it would be able to just reach their plant and be able to treat them. So how does this pollution affect us? In the increase in the cost of purification, the cost of purification is different in Lurin and different in Rimac. In Rimac we are in a much more serious case, which costs us much more. In a report from the national water authority in 2012, it was indicated that it went from 0.19 soles per cubic meter to 0.39 soles per cubic meter, so this is reflected in all the supplies that have to be used to be able to make that water drinkable.”

Soundbite (Gabriela Graciela Villegas Vásquez – Agronomist and Environmental Expert, a specialist in recovery, maintenance, and conservation of urban green areas, elaboration, and development of Municipal projects. She currently works at the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima):

“The rivers that are most contaminated are the ones that are visited. Those rivers where the biggest amount of tourism arrives are the most affected, like, they are being affected by tourism and the interference of human beings towards them. They meet, let’s say, to catch the bus at a bus stop that’s by the river, then boom! They throw everything there. So, is a heap because there are thousands of people every day, the same people take the bus to the same place that is adjacent to the river and those same people, especially during the hours that they concentrate to go to their work center or return and everything, these are the points where there contamination is greater.

We have seen that mining causes mainly deforestation because they use areas and they cause deforestation and this results in damage to rivers as well. So in the urban area, the inhabitants do it right? And industries; and in the rural area, mining.”

  • Soundbite (Ana Paula Dupeyrat Muguerza – university student):

“I feel that it’s also an issue of education, of perhaps how to give importance to caring for the environment from the schools and also obviously from the home itself, because I don’t think that people do it with the intention of, or well, maybe they don’t really know everything that’s behind it and even that they are harming themselves at the moment they contaminate the water, so I feel that it’s an educational issue that schools and also the State should take care of and the families themselves.”

  • Soundbite (Iván Pestana-architect):

“In this country, specifically, and because of the issue of people’s lack of education, I believe that the government should take a series of sanctions against people, and greater control. Control is the only thing that could reduce the subject to almost zero on this issue, because we have had several examples in which the State has intervened self-interestedly and it has worked. Because people who have no consideration and no education continue to throw things into the river, if you don’t sanction or control them, it won’t work.”

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