The technical director of Brazil’s Association of State Sewage Companies (Aesbe), Marcos Tadeu Abicalil, informed that over half the sewage produced in Brazil is not treated, and, to change this situation, Brazil would have to invest approximately US$ 3.4 billion (10 billion reais), about three times more than it does at present.
Abicalil also said that the brunt of the sewage that is treated is handled by state companies. “Despite all the difficulties the state companies face, they are still responsible for most of the country’s sewage treatment,” he commented.
Aesbe data show that four out of every 10 Brazilian residences do not have piped water. For the National Secretary of State Sanitation, Abelardo de Oliveira Filho, the solution to the problem lies in the approval of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project, which is being debated in the National Congress.
The head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources at the Interamerican Development Bank (BID), Assuncion Aguillar, says that the institution is interested in investing in environmental sanitation in all of Latin America, in governmental or private sector projects.
“We are not in favor of either governmental or private sector projects. We are interested in financing what works best and is most efficient,” said Aguillar.
The IDB does not have a fixed ceiling on its investments, Aguillar explained, adding that loans depend on country needs and payment capabilities. She also revealed that for this year and 2005, a total of US$ 335 million has been earmarked for Brazil (pre-approved projects).
Aguillar made her remarks, earlier this month, at a seminar for specialists from Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay on public policy for financing quality water supplies and sewage treatment in the Southern Cone.