Colombia’s rivers could cost the government $11.1 billion to clean up, the country’s Environment Minister said on Thursday.
Colombia’s Environment Minister Luz Helena Sarmiento warned that the government would have to spend 3.5% of the nation’s $369.9 billion gross domestic product (GDP) in order to clean Colombia’s waterways, Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper reported on Thursday.
Sarmiento, speaking at the inauguration of the fourth International Fair for the Environment (FIMA) in Bogota, went on to say that the government would have to invest five times the cost of Colombia’s “100,000 free homes” project for the poor if they wanted to clean the contaminated river water.
In the past 18 months, the Colombian government has invested more than $790 million to improve the Bogota River according to Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper.
The same source said the government has set aside $158 million to mitigate the effects of the “El Niño,” weather phenomenon which sometimes manifests during the last half of the year in the form of heavy rains.
“We have prepared different mechanisms of knowledge and awareness to supplement these budgets,” explained Sarmiento.
Under the framework of the ongoing water pollution problem, the Environmental Business Corporation (CAEM) and the Regional Autonomous Corporation (CAR) of Cundinamarca signed an agreement for the creation of “ecological corridors” around the Bogota River that consists of the planting of some 1,100 trees, according to an official FEMA press release.
Colombia’s International Fair for the Environment kicked-off in Bogota on Wednesday and will continue through Saturday.
The fair acts as a platform for the promotion of eco-friendly goods and services with the central theme of this year’s convention being water conservation.
- Limpiar los rios puede costarle a Colombia unos 21 billones de pesos (El Espectador)
- Feria Internacional del Medio Ambiente – FIMA 2014 Noticias (FIMA press release)