The Ribeira das Lavadeiras that crosses under the EN-125 in Faro at the Olhão exit is 'nothing more than an open sewer, running freely to the Ria Formosa.'
This view is held by Faro’s opposition Socialist Party which wants the official bodies - including Faro council and the council owned company Fagar - to sort it out as they have 'been aware of the situation for at least two years.'
The socialist councillors have visited the site which in former years was clean enough for locals to wash their clothes in (hence the name) and considered now that the river is a 'scene of degradation, our own third world.'
'The river, far from being clean has been transformed into a sea of sewage, garbage and stench, running above ground straight into the Ria Formosa natural area,' according to a statement from the socialists sent to media today.
The image is clearly one of 'environmental neglect' and at the Ribeira das Lavadeiras 'the council executive has no excuse after five years in power in the municipality. This shows a laxity in tackling environmental problems and an insensitivity to the appeals of the public over environmental issues.'
'This is not a distant river somewhere in the hills, we are talking about a river located at the entrance to Faro that has been allowed to become an open sewer partly due to waste from Faro Hospital. The current mayor has known full well for two years that this river runs directly into the Ria Formosa environmental area, part of Faro and the Algarve’s responsibility and patrimony, as has done nothing about it,' reads the statement.
The socialist councillors are to raise this issue at the next council meeting, scheduled for next Thursday.
Due to the gravity and urgency of the environmental impact of the sewage-filled river, the socialists also are calling for the immediate intervention of the regional services of the Ministry of Environment, to "notify the PSD/CDS majority in Faro council and instruct them to act in accordance with their powers and responsibilities which should end the current lethargy and put a stop to this real environmental attack," conclude the socialists.