One thing the designers of Brazil’s modernistic capital Brasilia forgot to map out in their intricate plans was where to put the garbage.
The city’s creators, world famous architect Oscar Niemeyer and urban planner Lucio Costa, could never have imagined the city’s explosive growth.
Sixty-seven years and 50 million tonnes of garbage later, the Estructural dump had become the biggest in Latin America — until Friday, when Brasilia’s dirty secret was closed.
Governor Rodrigo Rollemberg opened a new landfill further out of town to replace it, angering thousands of scavengers who make a living from the garbage.
“We cannot live with this open wound in the midst of our nation’s capital, a dump where human beings put their lives at risk seeking a livelihood in an undignified way,” the governor said at the opening of the new landfill.
Since the city was founded on a cattle ranch on a highland plateau, Brasilia has expanded to become the nation’s fourth-biggest metropolis with 2.5 million inhabitants.
Just 20km from the presidential palace, thousands of scavengers have eked out a living for decades by picking out cans, copper wire and anything that can be recycled and sold.
Generations of pickers have brought their children to work in the dusty dump, beneath a scorching sun and hovering vultures, plagued by swarms of flies and the pungent stench of putrid food and methane gas.
Rollemberg’s plan is to employ the pickers at new “triage” centers in warehouses where garbage can be separated for recycling on conveyor belts in cleaner conditions by workers in uniforms and gloves.
However, scavengers working at the dump on its last day said they refused to swap their source of income for regimented government jobs that paid too little to sustain their families.
While human rights groups criticized precarious conditions and child labor at the dump, environmentalists made the strongest case for closure, warning that it was polluting the water table beneath Brasilia, a city that already has to ration water supplies due to recurrent droughts.
Some members of the 3,000-strong pickers cooperative said they would rather stay working the dump and not have the cost of a long commute to the new recycling centers.
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about
Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear