Rio has reportedly announced that it cannot meet the goal of cleaning its water in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The city has given up on its previous target of eliminating 80 percent of the pollution in its water.
Officials for the Summer Olympics say that as the games are set to begin in just months, a lack of funds and time will prevent Rio from keeping its promise, says ESPN.
“It’s not going to happen because there was not enough commitment, funds and energy. However, we finally got something that the bay has been missing for generations, which is public will for the cleaning,” said Rio 2016 spokesperson Mario Andrada according to Dead Spin.
“Nobody wants to have guests at their house and show a dirty house. So if we’re not able to reach the target, we need to keep working until the last minute and make sure that the athletes can compete in safe waters, and we’ve been doing this.”
In addition to the pollution in Rio’s waters, infectious pathogens remain a neglected problem that could make the city’s water unsafe.
A U.S. Olympic Committee document indicates that the U.S. “does not expect to anticipate major reductions in bacterial or viral pathogen levels at the competition venues,” reports Outside the Lines.
The U.S. is reportedly planning to prepare its athletes for the Olympics by ensuring that they are vaccinated against potential diseases, and disinfecting all the athletes’ clothing and gear.
Martine Greal, a member of Brazil’s Olympic team, said that a lack of public concern about the polluted waters has persisted for generations in Rio.
“It’s very clear that water treatment and education are the biggest focus on cleaning the water, and I haven’t seen almost anything being done in that way. I think Rio has a very big coastline and people love to go to the beach, but nobody seems to care that the beach is getting dirtier and dirtier,” Grael told Outside the Lines.
“You don’t need to study a lot to understand that it’s not going well.”