Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
These pictures show the authorities in southern Spain spraying a beach with bleach to disinfect it sparking outrage among environmental activists.
The incident took place in the village of Zahara de Los Atunes, located in the province of Cadiz in the southern Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia, where more than two kilometres (1.2 miles) of beach were reportedly sprayed with bleach on Sunday.
The measure came as the Spanish government gave permission for children to leave their homes for one hour with their parents for the first time since coronavirus lockdown was brought in on 15th March.
Reports state that the action was coordinated by the Local Autonomous Entity (ELA) and the Merchant Association of Zahara de los Atunes (ACOZA) with three tractors spreading bleach along the seashore.
Ecologist organisations Volunteers of Trafalgar Association and AGADEN have now complained about the “brutal” damage caused to the beach.
The Head of Volunteers of Trafalgar Association Maria Dolores Iglesias told local media: “Bleach is used as a very powerful disinfectant, it is logical that it be used to disinfect streets and asphalt, but here the damage has been brutal.
“People only see sand but there is a whole ecosystem underneath, there are small molluscs and insects that are the food for other species.”
The organisations reportedly complained that the environmental local authorities were not told about the fumigation.
The President of the ELA, Agustin Conejo said: “The decision was made in a rush due to the concerns that several parents expressed. The product does not cause an aggressive impact on the environment. The dune system was never harmed.”
According to the ELA, the product used to fumigate the beach is also used to fumigate fruit and vegetables and is not harmful to the environment. The local entity also threatened to take legal action against anyone who damages their public image or honour.
However, local media reported the Andalusian regional government is considering fining the local government for fumigation.
According to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University, there have been 236,889 cases of COVID-19 in Spain and 24,275 deaths.
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