How is the Water and Sanitation Situation in Barranquilla?

The town of Barranquilla announced the presentation of the Quality of Life and Environment report yesterday which includes information on air quality, noise, arborization of both the city and the metropolitan area. 

Manuel Fernandez, the Director of Barranquilla Cómo Vamos, translated as “How are we doing?” presented information showing that the capital Atlántico, next to Puerto Colombia, has a sewer system which covers 100%, Malambo only 91.5%, Soledad with 82% and Galapa with a dismal 56%.

However, Fernandez emphasized the importance of using complete and accurate population information as these measurements are made based on 2005 census projections and does not consider, for example, the population living in shantytowns on the outskirts of cities.

“We have several reports which do not match,” Fernandez stated. Despite the contradictions, Fernandez emphasized the issues in waste treatment. There are 15 dumping points in Barranquilla and only one marine outfall carrying the waste to the sea. Puerto Colombia has a single dumping point which is treated but only results in poor quality water. Soledad, meanwhile, has 23 points and no treatment facilities. Fernandez pointed out the critical nature of this problem as the municipality of Soledad’s untreated water travels downstream to Barranquilla, impacted the water quality there as well. 

“We have several reports which do not match”

Fernandez did not present data for the quality of water in Barranquilla and the other municipalities. However, he explained to Tierra Grata that the lack of information makes the results insufficient and inclusive. “The data from the Superintendant of Public Services with that of other lending entities, reveals many discrepancies,” he explains. Barranquilla Cómo Vamos emphasizes that the presentation of results  “is not intended to be the absolute truth, but instead a first step towards making the data clearer.” He proposes for the next mayor and governor to prioritize investment in reducing untreated wastewater and waste from water treatment plants.


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