By Brennan Stark, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A contingent of nearly 170 government workers and street sweepers are poised to spend the next week providing public services to the Rocinha and Vidigal favelas. The move follows yesterday’s military occupation of Rio’s largest favela without a single shot being fired.
Government officials claim the communities will see improvements in water services, sewerage and lighting. A thorough cleaning is also planned as authorities hope to improve the image of the hillside streets and alleys.
Urban planning developments and ideas will also be provided to help combat the future spread of squatter homes. Over 100 workers from the Municipal Guard will attempt to re-register residents and map the short and long-term needs of the communities.
Municipal Secretary of Conservation Carlos Roberto Osorio claimed the most important issue is refining the system of garbage collection. Over 100 tons of garbage are collected every day in Rocinha, but estimates put the production much higher, leaving waste to accumulate in the streets.
Due to its chaotic design, sprawling dimensions and sloping hills, Osorio believes the Rocinha cleanup is the biggest urban-cleaning challenge ever faced in Rio. “Rocinha is a city that grew in an unplanned way, with very few access roads for trucks and equipment. Establishing the new scheme will require commitment.”
Read more (in Portuguese).
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