MANTANZA RIACHUELO

 

 

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The Mantanza-Riacheulo is known by several names, including, in Spanish, Río de la Matanza ("the slaughter river" in English), Río Matanza ("slaughter river"), Río Mataderos ("slaughterhouses river"), Río de la Manzana ("the apple river") or simply Riachuelo ("little river").

 

It is a 64-kilometre (40 mi) stream in Argentina that originates in the Buenos Aires Province and defines the southern boundary of the Buenos Aires federal district. It empties into the Río de la Plata between Tandanor and Dock Sud. The La Boca neighbourhood and the Boca Juniors football club are located near the Riachuelo's mouth. The Spanish word boca means "mouth".

The river's course has been canalized and channelized in places, especially along its lower course. It is estimated that 15,000 industries are actively releasing effluent into the river, which cuts through 14 municipalities in Buenos Aires. Chemical manufacturers are responsible for more than a third of the pollution.

Pollutants in the Matanza River vary greatly. A study published in the Latin American Journal of Sedimentology and Basin Analysis in 2008 revealed that soil on the banks of the river contained levels of zinc, lead, copper, nickel, and total chromium that were all above recommended levels. Chromium, for example, had a mean value in soil of 1,141 ppm, which is significantly higher than the recommended level of 220 ppm.

It’s believed that 60% of the approximately 20,000 people who reside near the river basin live in territory deemed unsuitable for human habitation, with 6% living in the basin’s most unsuitable conditions. Environmental factors such as diarrheal diseases, respiratory diseases, and cancer are significant public health problems associated with the multiple industries in the basin. A 2013 article published in Salud Colectiva found that 80% of water samples taken from wells near the Matanza-Riachuelo river basin were not safe for drinking due to contamination.

 

From its source down to La Noria Bridge on Avenida General Paz, the river is usually referred to as Río La Matanza, and from that point onwards as Riachuelo. Approximately 3.5 million people live in its drainage basin of 2,240 km2 (865 sq mi).

The south-easterly storm wind, known as Sudestada, hinders the waters of the Riachuelo from reaching the Río de la Plata, producing frequent flooding in low-lying areas like La Boca and Barracas. Since 1995 a number of flood control projects have been carried out to prevent such occurrences.

 

 

 

 

The Matanza receives large amounts of industrial waste from the numerous factories along the river, especially tanneries, which makes the Matanza/Riachuelo a polluted river. Among the most dangerous contaminants are heavy metals and waste water from the basin's saturated layers.

 

A contentious political subject since at least the 1862–68 administration of President Bartolomé Mitre, the Riachuelo's plight has attracted the attention of other public figures, notably artist and Greenpeace activist Nicolás García Uriburu, who dyed the waterway green in 1970, and on World Water Day (March 22) in 2010, to draw attention to the problem.

In 1993, President Carlos Menem's Secretary of Environment, María Julia Alsogaray, presented a 3-year project to clean up the Riachuelo that was approved, but never started, let alone concluded. The former civil servant, daughter of conservative policy maker Álvaro Alsogaray, was prosecuted for misappropriation of those public funds.

According to Argentine newspaper Página/12, of the 250-million-dollar budget, only $90 million remain; $6 million were lost in punitive interests, $150 million were destined to unrelated social projects, and only $1 million was used for the actual cleanup.

 

Critics have also noted that this cleanup was in vain, as all that was done was to remove sunken ship hulls, but nothing was done to prevent newly abandoned ships from sinking.

A period of optimism regarding the waterway's condition followed announcements in 2006 by President Néstor Kirchner that the Riachuelo's improvement would be prioritized; but, though some efforts were undertaken, the river remains a source of health problems and urban blight for its adjoining neighborhoods. Environmental cleanup efforts have been supplemented by urban renewal proposals for the area.

As of December 2013, no cleanup had been done. The river contains industrial waste with high levels of arsenic, chromium, copper, zinc, and lead.

 

Around ninety percent (90%) of plastics in the ocean comes from just 10 rivers. Nine of these rivers are located in Asia and one of them borders Thailand.

 

The top 10 most polluted rivers in the world have one thing in common – they are located alongside large human populations with poor waste management (PWM) systems.

 

 

 

ON THE BANKS - Plastic waste abounds on the banks of this river. Without proper recycling this resource will be washed out to sea where it will kill marine life.

 

 

RIVER

COUNTRY

POPULATION

PLASTIC

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-

-

-

Amazon

Brazil/Peru/ Ecuador

-

1

Amur

Russia/China

-

2

Brantas

Indonesia

-

3

Buriganga

Bangladesh

-

4

Citarum

Indonesia

-

5

Congo

West Central Africa

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6

Cross

Nigeria/Cameroon

-

7

Cuyahoga 

USA

-

8

Ganges

India/Bangladesh

-

9

Danube

Europe

-

10

Dong

China

-

11

Hai He (Sea)

China

-

12

Hanjiang

China

-

13

Huangpu

China

-

14

Irrawaddy

Myanmar

-

15

Imo

Nigeria

-

16

Indus

Pakistan/Himalayan

-

17

Irtysh

Russia/China/Kazakhstan

-

18

Jordan

Israel

-

19

Kwa Ibo

Nigeria

-

20

Lena

Siberia

-

21

Magdalena

Columbia

-

22

Mantanza-Riachuelo

Argentina

-

23

Marilao

Philippines

-

24

Mississippi

USA

-

25

Mekong

Thailand/Laos/Vietnam

-

26

Niger

Guinea/Nigeria

-

27

Nile

Egypt

-

28

Parana

S America/Brazil

-

29

Pasig

Philippines

-

30

Progo

Java/Indonesia

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31

Sarno

Italy

-

32

Serayu

Indonesia

-

33

Solo

Java/Indonesia

-

34

Tamsui

Taiwan

-

35

Xi 

China

-

36

Yamuna

India

-

37

Yangtze

China

-

38

Yellow/Huang He

China

-

30

Zhujiang/Pearl

China

-

40

 

 

Every year the world, produces 300 million tonnes of plastics, and 8.8 million tonnes of these are dumped into the oceans. That’s about 40 billion plastic bottles, 100 billion single-use plastic bags, and 522 million personal care items.

If you know a seriously polluted river, or one that should be a candidate on a bigger list, please contact Cleaner Ocean Foundation.

 

The rivers noted, added to hundreds of other lesser contributors feed the five ocean gyres to poison marine life and cover the seabed in a mountain of plastic.

 

1. North Atlantic Gyre

2. South Atlantic Gyre

3. Indian Ocean Gyre

4. North Pacific Gyre

5. South Pacific Gyre

 

 

Map of the most plastic polluted rivers in the world

 

JAMBECK 2010 - Global map with each country shaded according to the estimated mass of mismanaged plastic waste [millions ofmetric tons (MT)] generated in 2010 by populations living within 50 km of the coast. 192 countries were considered. Countries not included in the study are shaded white.

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

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This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. copyright © Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) 2019. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom. COFL is a company without share capital.

 

THE MANTANZA RIACHUELO  IS ONE OF THE MOST POLLUTED RIVERS IN THE WORLD A TO Z INDEX PLASTIC WASTE