Oruro (Bolivia) – The Uru-Uru Lake in the high mountains of the Andes was once a paradise. Meanwhile, the water in the Andes resembles a garbage dump. Plastic bottles and other man-made waste cover the dry lake bed – for miles.
“We’re practically inundated with plastic,” Limber Sanchez, an ecologist at the Regional Center for Ecology and Andean Peoples (CEPA), told the Associated Press (AP). “In addition to the plastic, there is the pollution from the acidic mining water that comes from the San José mine.”
The plastic enters the lake via the Roso Canal, which borders the city of Oruro, where residents thoughtlessly throw their rubbish into the water. Not only that: Heavy metals such as cadmium, zinc and arsenic pollute the Uru-Uru Lake in addition. The situation is so bad that only a small part of the lake is home to animals.
Resident Vicente Ramos on the AP: “You could fish, you could do anything. There were birds here and now the birds are dying from pollution and all the things that happen. ”
National and local authorities have taken up the issue and promise to clean up the lake “so we can show a different picture,” said Oruros Mayor David Choque.