State of riverbed muddies waters municipal and regional relations

ALMERIA CITY is tired of having to cope with everyone else’s waste.
So said Carlos Sanchez, Health Councillor at City Hall, although the word he used was much stronger.
Sewage from Bajo Andarax towns is reaching the river, maintained Sanchez, who plans to lodge a formal complaint with the courts. The situation is the responsibility of Andalucia’s regional government, the councillor claimed, and has been a source of dispute since 2008.
Recent complaints about the state of the riverbed, its foul smell and plagues of mosquitoes have accentuated an ongoing problem, he said.
This has intensified following a report from City Hall’s environment officers which revealed that children in El Puche had been seen playing in Andarax recently.
The water where they were playing had a “faint smell,” according to the report but the stench was “more penetrating” and “practically insupportable” upstream.
El Puche is a multicultural neighbourhood, the report continued, where many residents would be unaware that further upstream, the river received waste at three points from Viator. Goats and sheep seen drinking there could also be affected by the quality of the water, officers pointed out.
The Junta de Andalucia regional government brushed off claims that it was responsible for the state of the river, stating that the Bajo Andarax area would now be connected to the waste treatment plant had City Hall agreed.
This was “totally false” Carlos Sanchez said, especially as City Hall technicians confirmed that work on the plant was still three months off completion.

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