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Brazil Sanitation and Public Utilities

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Brazil Sanitation and Public Utilities

Sanitation and Public Utilities

The National Sanitation Plan (Plano Nacional de Saneamento--Planasa) of the 1970s did not keep pace with rapid urbanization in the development of safe drinking water supplies and waste disposal systems, particularly evident in the precarious metropolitan peripheries and favelas. Between 1988 and 1993, 87 percent had access to piped water and 72 percent to sewerage and waste disposal services, yet a 1989 study by the IBGE (Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute) revealed that 92 percent of the municipalities did not treat domestic wastewater and only 27.6 percent of dwellings in a Northeast metropolis were linked to a sewerage system that passed quality standards.

The rural population receives far fewer water and sanitation services than its urban counterparts. Ninety-five percent of those in urban areas had adequate water supply during the 1988-93 period, as compared with 61 percent of rural dwellers; the levels for disposal systems were 84 percent and 32 percent, respectively (the rural figures refer to wells and privies, not service). To a certain extent, the urban-rural incongruity in the provision of environmental sanitation accounts for the higher percentage of deaths from diarrheal diseases in the rural North and Northeast than in the urban areas. The lack or deficiency of basic sanitation services has been associated with the persistence of diarrhea as well as outbreaks of contagious diseases, including cholera.

Data as of April 1997



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