MORE than 5,000 signatures have been collected and an association created to try and improve the state of the River Segura in Orihuela.
Some residents can remember a time when they were able to swim in the river that passed through their city. They fished for eels, caught frogs and even cleaned their clothes there.
Children played on the banks and in the summer it was a meeting place for many.
Decades later, this is no longer the case due to the ‘bad smells’ and mire that contaminates the waters, and this is despite the contamination having reduced in recent years, Spanish newspaper Diario Informacion reported.
The ‘bad smells’ from the river’s waters are “suffocating” and at times smells rusty, according to Manuel Garcia, a representative from the Calle del Rio association.
Residents, like Garcia, who live by the river have had to put up with these smells on a daily basis, especially during the summer months.
The smells even reportedly get into people’s clothes. It is also a potential place for mosquitoes to breed and in the summer there are ‘plagues’ of the blood sucking insect, which not only affects residents, but nearby businesses and hotels in the areas.
The association is calling for studies to be carried out to ensure that the river does not pose any health risks.
By Nicole Hallett