Epidemic highlights urgent need to improve sanitation in Brazil – a global problem

Many people living on the banks of the river in the Amazon Rain Forest live in steel houses on the water. The water in which garbage and other wastes are dumped – the same water that is used for human consumption, which has significant consequences on their health, the levels of which were underlined by the Kovid epidemic. Credit: Mario Osava / IPS
  • By Mario Osava (January)
  • Inter Press Service

Brazil has made very little progress in the construction of sewers over the past decade. In 2010, the population was only .45. Percentage was sewage services, which increased to 5 54.1 percent in 2019-2019.

During that time, however, hospital admissions due to waterborne diseases fell by 54.7 percent, from 603,623 to 273,403, according to a survey by the Trata Brazil Institute on “Sanitation and Waterborne Diseases,” published October 5 in Sao Paulo.

Among children under four years of age, representing a percentage of patients who needed hospitalization, the decline was slightly more pronounced, at 5.1.1 percent.

Edison Carlos, president of the institute, said in the report, “The data make it clear that public access to drinking water, wastewater collection and treatment have many health benefits.”

Covid-1 has unequivocally affected the poor, highlighting the country’s social and economic inequalities, who are less likely to have access to sewerage services.

This is reflected in the distribution of basic sanitation infrastructure by the territory of Brazil. In the north, only 12.3 percent of the population in 2019 was served by a sewerage system, with last year’s data obtained from the government’s National Sanitation Information System (SNIS), which served as the basis for the study.

As a result, it is the region with the highest hospitalization rate, 22.9 per 10,000 inhabitants. It is the region that centers on the most generous water resources in the country, as it is located entirely in the Amazon Basin.

But the presence of such a large river does not mean that the local population has drinking water. In fact, just over half of the population has access to clean water.

The results are diarrhea, dengue fever, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis, malaria and yellow fever, all of which are waterborne diseases.

At the other extreme, the northeastern region is suffering from a water crisis in most of its semi-grain region. Only 2.3 percent of the local population. With 100 percent sewerage system and .9..9 percent access to treated water, it has hospitalized 1.9..9 out of every 10,000 inhabitants.

Part of the progress in sanitation in the region is the more than 1.2 million rainwater storage tanks established in the countryside by the Articulano do Semirido (ASA), a network of 3,000,000 social organizations created in 1 social.

The Semiarid Ecoregion, an area of ​​1,130,000 sq km (mostly northeast) with a population of 27 million people, suffered the longest drought on record from 2012 to 2017 and in some parts even the worst drought until 2019.

But this time there was no deportation to other areas caused by hunger, violence and similar disasters in the past.

Health inequality

The comparison of the two states in Brazil reveals a more worrying disparity. In the northeastern state of Maranhao, at the edge of the Amazon rainforest, 5.0.04 people per 10,000 inhabitants were hospitalized, 22.22 higher than its Amazon neighbor in the west.

“Maranha also faces huge challenges in terms of cleanliness, such as the shore, but its population density is high, more people live together and are exposed to dirty water in the open air, for example. Its beaches, often polluted by irregular waste, need to be considered another factor. Rubens Filho, head of communications at the Trata Brazil Institute and coordinator of his new research, said.

At the other end of the scale, Rio de Janeiro stands with the lowest hospitalization rate, at only 2.84 per 10,000 residents, although some of its low-income municipalities have the poorest sanitation coverage.

“It is possible that some municipalities do not file cases of waterborne diseases or people do not seek medical help,” Philo Sapo told IPS from Paolo in an effort to reduce hospital admissions.

“Above and beyond the differences between the states, Brazil still has more than 2,270,000 hospital admissions for preventable diseases; these costs could be greatly reduced if everyone had sanitation coverage,” he said.

The northern and northeastern regions are the poorest regions of the country, despite their vast ecological differences – rainforests vs. semicircles. They are far from the goal of universal sanitation in both countries by 2020, set by a law passed in 2020 – the legal framework for sanitation.

More precisely, the goal is to bring purified water and sewage to 90 percent for 99 percent of the population in this huge country of 213 million people.

The three regions that have suffered the least damage due to the lack of such infrastructure, the Midwest, the South and the Southeast, are suffering from the effects of reduced rainfall this year, apparently due to climate change and sometimes, not short-term drought.

Low rainfall began in 2020 and has since disrupted water supplies in cities such as Curitiba, the capital of the southern state of Paran, Pantanale, wetlands bordering Bolivia and Paraguay, and the southern Amazon jungle.

This year, many cities in the southeastern state of Sওo Paulo began supplying water. In the state capital, Sওo Paulo and surrounding urban areas, local sanitation companies reduce pipe pressure at night, a system that prevents leakage but leaves some areas without water.

The fear is that the water crisis of 2014 and 2015 will repeat itself, which was similar to other shortages that occurred in this century. Twenty years ago a similar drought caused blackouts and introduced energy rations for nine months starting in June 2001.

Brazil relies heavily on rivers for its electricity supply. Although this proportion was much higher two decades ago, hydropower plants are still a percentage of the total established production capacity.

Rehabilitation and restoration of springs and headwaters has become part of the country’s sanitation and energy policy.

The frequency of droughts in south-central Brazil confirms the role of the Amazon rainforest in increasing rainfall in large areas of this country and neighboring Argentina and Paraguay.

The so-called “flying river” carries moisture from the Amazon to South America’s most productive agricultural lands and reservoirs that play a key role in hydropower generation. But the world’s largest tropical forest is decimated.

Learned from Kovid-1

Covid-1 has highlighted the urgent need for sanitation. One of the major shortcomings of epidemiologists is that lack of sanitation is one of the leading causes of uneven spread of the coronavirus and lethality, restricting access to proper hygiene as a preventive measure.

With 58,152 deaths recognized by the Ministry of Health as of October, Brazil has the second highest number of deaths after the United States, accounting for more than 303,000 deaths due to covid. But proportionally, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 280 Brazilians per 100,000 inhabitants in the United States have died, compared to 214.

The need for improved sanitation infrastructure is also gaining momentum due to financial reasons. The states of Brazil, whose governments control major sanitation companies, see privatization as a source of revenue to overcome their financial imbalances and possibly improve the sector.

The legal framework for 2020 sanitation encourages discounts in the private sector to attract investment and meet the goal of near-universal coverage.

Companies in four Brazilian states have already been privatized. In Rio de Janeiro, on April 0, 2021, sanitation services in three of the four regions that the state was divided into will be handed over to a private group for 2 4.2 billion, 133 percent more than expected.

The fourth area will be privatized later this year. A 35-year discount requires a larger investment than the money paid to operate the services.

Cleaning rivers, lakes and bays, expanding and repairing pipeline networks, improving water quality and reducing distribution losses, approximately 41 percent, are tasks that will fall into the hands of new owners.

© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal Source: Inter Press Service

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