Of 150 wastewater treatment plants constructed in Oaxaca by previous state governments, only 25 function properly, 30 function but with deficiencies and 95 have been completely abandoned, the State Water Commission (CEA) said.
According to government records, between 2011 and 2015 the administration of former governor Gabino Cué invested 215.4 million pesos (US $11 million) in the construction of 23 treatment plants. Despite the investment, 68% of the state’s plants were not operating by the end of the project.
CEA director Benjamín Fernando Hernández Ramírez told reporters that the massive dysfunction was due to previous administrations’ lack of planning and foresight.
He explained that in many cases the state built the plants but left the administrative responsibilities in the hands of local entities that often did not have the financial resources to properly manage them.
Hernández added that many of the communities in Oaxaca that received treatment plants do not have sewer systems or infrastructure essential for transporting wastewater to the plants.
Another major problem was that the previous administration simply did not finish building some of them. In several cases, the current administration has had to begin unfinished projects anew due to the theft of wiring, pipes and copper from the abandoned sites.
The Oaxaca government’s legal department is in the process of creating a decentralized agency to get 100% of the treatment plants running and to relieve local entities of administrative responsibilities.
Benjamín said that in order to lower costs and be more environmentally friendly, the administration plans to use solar energy in any new construction.
Source: El Universal (sp)