Home News Pollution in Algarve river killing livestock

Pollution in Algarve river killing livestock

Published on 21/11/2017

MPs have questioned the government and require solutions to "solve or minimise the problem of pollution in the Ribeira do Vascão," following news in the media that the water is so polluted that it has been killing farm animals.

In the request sent to the Minister of the Environment, MPs Teresa Caeiro, Patrícia Fonseca and Álvaro Castello-Branco say that complaints have been received from livestock producers about the contamination of the river water that has been killing their livestock.

The Vascão river rises in the Serra do Caldeirão and flows into the Guadiana, winding its way through the interior of the Algarve, passing through the Loulé, Tavira and Alcoutim municipalities.

The CDS-PP politicians want to know whether the water in the Ribeira do Vascão has been analysed to detect if it is contaminated and what measures will be taken, and when, to solve or minimise the problem.

The MPs also want to know how regularly the water is tested, all the more important as the river is classified as of International Importance, and what the results have shown.

The Minister of the Environment, João Matos Fernandes, is in enough trouble already over severe pollution in the river Tagus. This comes from Spain’s waste water outflows entering the river, as well as industrial effluent from both sides of the border being added to the flow.

With Tagus river water levels severely depleted, due primarily to Spain’s irrigation extraction, the resultant flow contains a higher than permissible level of chemicals and waste products which has killed millions of fish and other forms of river life, a situation that politicans are keen to avoid addressing while they pray for rain.

On a recent visit to the banks of the Tejo, the minister saw no dead fish and hence proclaimed the river water perfectly acceptable.

His comments mask a litany of deliberate political dodges to ensure the continuation of polluting factories, including most notably, the pulp mill run by Celtejo – Empresa de Celulose do Tejo in Vila Velha de Ródão where Bleached Eucalyptus Kraft Pulp is produced and chemical waste dumped into the river.

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