- Sergio Moraes/Reuters
In this week’s edition of “What problems does Rio de Janeiro have to deal with leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympics,” we have a fun new guest: super bacteria.
According to CNN, Brazilian scientists have discovered evidence of drug-resistant bacteria growing off the shores of some of Rio’s most spectacular beaches, most notably in Guanabara Bay, where the sailing events for the Games will take place. Beaches were also flagged, such as Flamengo and Botafogo, which border Guanabara Bay and are popular destinations for tourists.
Lead researcher Renata Picao said, “We found that the threats occur in coastal waters in a variety of concentrations and that they are strongly associated with pollution.” She believes that sewage from local hospitals was channeled into the bay, either sparking or strengthening the growth of this new super bacteria.
Picao blames the city’s poor sanitation system for the emergence of the super bacteria that is resist ent to drugs. According to Cedae, Rio’s water utility, however, the city is following the guidelines set out by the World Health Organization. “Fifty one percent of the city’s sewage is now treated,” production director Edes de Oliveira told CNN. “Seven years ago it was only 11%.”
Plain and simple, Rio de Janeiro has serious problems on their hands, both safety-wise and financially, and with a month left until the beginning of the Games, the situation only seems to be getting worse. Perhaps Rio mayor Eduardo Paes said it best in an interview with CNN: “[Rio’s] completely failing at its work of policing and taking care of people.”