As summer approaches, several cities in Greater Tunisia are mobilizing against the discharge of wastewater into the Mediterranean and river valleys.
On the badge of the city of Raoued, a silhouette stands on a windsurfing board, crossing the waves: “This is another era, everyone comes to Raoud to bathe.” Adnene Bouassida, the mayor of this small town with 90,000 inhabitants in the northern suburbs of Tunisia, sighed and missed it. A kid in Medina, he often goes hiking there with scouts. “Very good memories”, He added.
Today, few vacationers or residents venture out to swim. The beach is now too polluted, either from debris accumulated on the sand, or from the discharge of rainwater pipes and treated water that flows directly into the sea through large pipes.
When sanitation services are interrupted, the treated water usually mixes with untreated sewage and emits a foul smell in the river valley. Swamps are formed, attracting swarms of mosquitoes. For residents who like to go to other places to relax, this scene is becoming more and more unbearable.
In a country popular with tourists for its coastline, pollution of beaches and river valleys is a scourge for many coastal towns, especially in the Greater Tunisia region. In the absence of water, the country has initiated a policy to assess sewage, especially agricultural irrigation.. But the system still lacks intrusion. Facing the rapid urbanization of the capital, many sewage treatment plants have been saturated, while others are still being repaired.
As summer approaches, the municipalities no longer hesitate to step up to protect “their” Mediterranean. “Last year, with the confinement, the beach returned to its former color, and we were able to go back there, but it didn’t last long.”, Insist on Adnene Bouassida. He often deals with the authorities because, according to him, the breakdowns and accidents of the Office of National Health (ONAS) are too frequent.