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Miércoles 27 diciembre de 2017 | Publicado a las 14:23 · Actualizado a las 10:17

Chile’s cleanest lake owes its status to indigenous communities

Eric Melillanca
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Lake Lleu Lleu is located in the south of the Bio Bio region. It has an area of 40,6 square kilometers and it hosts Chile’s cleanest waters due to, mainly, indigenous communities.

Its status was confirmed through a study carried out by the country’s governing body in terms of water issues, Dirección General de Aguas (DGA), and it was announced by the DGA regional director, César Aravena.

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Nevertheless, this has been achieved by the Mapuche communities that live around Lleu Lleu, people who primarily work in tourism and who have seen to the purity and cleanliness of the lake system.

Eric Melillanca
Eric Melillanca

Tirúa’s major, Adolfo Millabur, highlighted that the role Mapuches have had for years in terms of conservation, preventing affluent and groundwater pollution and forbidding the use of motor-powered machines has been crucial on the matter.

Additionally, Millabur added, the Ministry of the Environment seeks to reforest the Lleu Lleu area alongside that of Lanalhue, a close-by lake, with native species so as to protect basins and tributaries, which are negatively affected by the forest industry.

Even though Lleu Lleu is said to be South America’s cleanest lake, the major said that due to the lack of foreign studies in the topic that statement cannot be confirmed, though Chilean investigations ratify Lleu Lleu’s status domestically.

Eric Melillanca
Eric Melillanca

Millabur reminded that this relentless protection of the lake started 25 years ago, when the salmon industry became interested in setting up plants at Lleu Lleu.

The mere intention sparked the communities’ rage and concern and they all came together with one goal: to ensure the lake’s preservation.

The head of the regional branch of the National Tourism Service (Sernatur), Paola Nuñez, invited the public to visit Lleu Lleu and highlighted the attractions of the area.

Nuñez also appreciated the work that they have carried out alongside Mapuche communities and promised to upgrade and improve plumbing facilities around the body of water in order to guarantee that Lleu Lleu maintains the title of “cleanest lake in Chile” in the foreseeable future.

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