To drink or not to drink the water?

The February 4th oil spill in the Guarapiche river in Monagas State is an enviromental disaster that has put the water supply of Maturín at risk. While PDVSA keeps saying the situation is under control, the real extent of the damage has started to show.

The main issue is whether the river water is apt for consumption. A Vice-President of PDVSA, Eulogio Del Pino, drank a glass of water from the river to prove its safety.

The National Academy of Natural Sciences said: not so fast.

“There could be three elements in the water: oils, heavy metals and aromatic hydrocarbons… prolonged contact with heavy metals is toxic… Some of the aromatics are class 1 carcinogens, according to the World Health Organization…”

Del Pino’s stunt brings to mind the case of Otsuka Norikazu, a japanese TV host who ate vegetables from Fukushima live on air to support local farmers who sufferred after the nuclear disaster. Later, he was diagnosed with Leukemia.

While Maturín copes with the contingency, the independent pro-Chávez Governor of Monagas is angry. Seems like a whole bunch of other people are about to get angry as well. The pipeline explosion which started it all is here. Now, there’s another spill in Anzoátegui.

14 thoughts on “To drink or not to drink the water?

  1. All these are really concerning. The Ministry for The Environment has been very negligent in its duties and it has not been given enough funding or attention.

    I would like to see public reports of the water that Venezuelans are drinking and how many PPM of different elements are we actually ingesting. The quality of air in Venezuela’s largest cities has diminished significantly.

    Also, I wonder if there are any spikes in cancer and respiratory diseases in our population


  2. “The quality of air in Venezuela’s largest cities has diminished significantly.”

    I can confirm it. I don’t have to be a scientist to notice it.


  3. More video of the damage

    The man in the clean red uniform must be a Chavista Jefe. I pray that those working in the water and covered in oil do not face health problems later.


  4. For those of you who missed it, in December of last year there was an oil spill that left Cúcuta 10 days without water.

    Perhaps someone should do a comparison in the response from the Colombian government and the Venezuelan government. (Just search for “cucuta derrame petroleo” on youtube and you’ll find a dozen videos of it.) Specially contrast the transparency of the information and all the steps taken to ensure the clean up of the river and the purity of the drinking water.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Venezuela had an actual government instead of a bunch of 5-year-old children too busy sucking up to the class clown to do anything?


  5. This is a tragedy…and there are so many in Venezuela. OT and not so OT: for a couple of years already tap water in most of Carabobo is so polluted that it stinks and has very strange colours. The government has made a mess of the whole sewage systems in the Tacarigua basin and allow all kinds of barrios settle in next to the water supplies.
    Land fills are an absolute joke.


    • In Margarita employees at Hidrocaribe is selling the chlorine that’s supposed to be used for the drinking water to hotels for use in their pools. You have to know someone to get it but it’s there.

      To add to the problems a GN officer is refusing to sign import documents for granulated chlorine saying that it could be used for explosives. One pool supply owner told me it’s just to get a bribe. As a result there is only one company in Margarita selling granulated 60% chlorine at double the price that it was in December.

      It’s time for a change.


      • We can go on for ages. As I have read, in Carabobo it is not lack of chlorine: Chavista officials connected the Cabriales with a water processing plant close to Los Guayos, this is taking more polluted water to Valencia Lake and way to Pao-Cachinche, which is surrounded by slums and close to one of the largest landfills. For some years now Hidrocentro is porung so much chlorine and other components in the Pao-Cachinche water system that now people in the whole region are getting trihalomethanes galore…which cause cancer


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