Fears as Latin America's largest rubbish dump closes
Authorities are closing down Gramacho, Latin America’s largest rubbish dump, in preparation for the Rio+ 20 United Nations sustainable development summit next month. Rubbish from Gramacho will now be transferred to a privately-owned dump. This has caused worries among many ‘catadores’, rubbish pickers who rely on Gramacho for their livelihoods. In the absence of Gramacho, they wonder how they will survive.
‘Catadores’ find and separate recyclable materials and sell them to middlemen or recycling centres. It is estimated that they can make up to $45 a day, where the minimum monthly wage is $306.
32-year-old Ana Carla Nistaldo says: “I raised my children with money from the garbage and they had everything they needed. The closure of the dump will have a very big impact on us since for many this was the only source of income. What will happen to the families?”
- Pray for the many ‘catadores’, for their lives and well-being, that they would find livelihoods elsewhere, and that they would be able have enough resources to survive.
- Pray for the authorities to have wisdom in how to best deal with ‘catadores’ and how to secure their welfare from now on.
- Pray for the Rio +20 United Nations summit, that the representatives would be aware of these sensitive and complex issues as they make decisions that affect countries on a large-scale.
Image source: Christopher Simon, AFP