Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro has faced a lot of criticism from both, within and outside the country, for not being fit to host Olympics 2016 starting from 5th August. The country is facing a number of economic, political, health and infrastructural issues.
Here are a few reasons why it should reconsider:
1. Water pollution may affect the open-water sporting events
Rio is facing major environmental issues. The Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, the venue for the sailing, triathlon, open-water swimming and windsurfing events is polluted. The bay is reportedly filled with huge amounts of garbage since 70% of the city’s sewage is disposed of in these waters. This is extremely hazardous for the sailors taking part in these events. There are chances of them being hit by the waste material.
The Olympic project, undertaken to get the city ready for the Olympics, included cleaning up to 80% of the bay. But it seems like not even half of it has been done. Experts have argued that the state authorities required time, money and technology to clean the bay but lack of interest by the political brass has kept that from happening.
2. Major health issues
Large amounts of household waste, garbage, and dead bodies of animals lie in Rio’s waters causing pollution. Scientists have discovered a new type of bacteria, which they’ve termed ‘super bacteria’ which can cause various brain and spinal infections. With thousands of athletes and innumerable supporters coming into the city, the spread of this bacteria may happen at an accelerated rate, possibly leading to an epidemic.
Athletes such as American cyclist Tejay van Gardener, golfer Dustin Johnson and Spanish basket player Savannah Guthrie have pulled out from the games in fear of the health risks. Doctors, scientists, and bioethicists have urged to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to postpone or relocate the venue, but the game still remains on schedule.
3. Tourist may be prone to security threat
Rio has also been in the news for the rise of criminal activities in the city. Early this year, the city witnessed a couple of major robberies and incidents where passengers were assaulted in the metro. Brazil’s Public Security Institute’s data showing on duty officers killed 40 people has added fear to people’s mind. The Mayor of Rio made a statement saying that the security forces have been failing in discharging their duties and managing crime has become one of the city’s biggest challenges.
On top of all this, just a month before the start of the Olympics, Rio’s police force refused to take responsibility of the tourists as their wages haven’t been paid.
4. Inadequate transport and infrastructure facilities
Rio is known for having long and huge traffic jams. In order to deal with this, the Government has ordered that schools will remain shut in the month of August. Residents of the city have been asked to work from home as much as possible and the 3 busiest days of the games have been declared as holidays. The metro project, which was specifically planned keeping in mind the Rio Olympics is yet to be finished and it is likely to be operational only at the last minute.
5. Water shortage and energy crisis
Brazil is also currently in the midst of an energy crisis. On experiencing the worst drought in the last 40 years, the countries ability to generate hydroelectricity was hit hard. Brazil gets 70% of its energy supply from hydroelectric power plants. As result of the water shortage, some parts of the country have started rationing water, something Rio too may have to start doing.
Since the city has to host the Olympics, the power consumption will increase massively. This triggers a major problem for the authorities.
The idea of Rio Olympics sounded romantic when it was proposed. But the state announced the financial emergency just 7 weeks before the start of the massive event. Brazil was already greatly affected by the hosting of FIFA 2014 World Cup and is still recovering from that.