Cubans Will Have Water Before Fidel Castro’s Birthday, Authorities Promise

The works began this Tuesday with the incorporation of the first two pumps in the capital, and in the coming days more devices will be placed in the most affected pumping stations. (Victoria)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, August 3, 2023 — The water pumps that Havanans eagerly awaited to alleviate the chaotic situation of this service in the capital have already arrived. In Havana, 18 will be installed, as announced on Wednesday by the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INRH) and reported by the official press. In addition, another four will go to the Isle of Youth. The breaks, deficiencies and failures in the system have already affected more than 80,000 people, according to the authorities.

The works began this Tuesday with the incorporation of the first two pumps in the capital, and in the coming days more devices will be placed in the most affected pumping stations, which is expected to benefit the coastal municipalities of Cojímar and Guanabacoa.

The authorities estimate that the water supply in La Lisa, Playa and a part of Marianao should also improve, for which the supply systems of Rincón 3 and Mauline are expected to alleviate the “critical state” in which the Ariguanabo basin is located, on which these municipalities depend.

Both the officials of Aguas de La Habana and the Communist Party promise that the work will be ready before August 13, “for the birthday” of Fidel Castro. They also announced the execution of several hydraulic projects in Matanzas, of which they did not give details.

As for the Isla de la Juventud, a 10 liters per second pump has already been installed to benefit the towns of Juan Delio Chacón and Comunidad 53. Equipment will also be installed – with a capacity of 20 to 30 liters per second – in La Luminous Source, Faith and Guanábana.

Given the precarious situation of the service, Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar, Party secretary in Havana, acknowledged that “the people have demanded water, as is logical,” but believes that the arrival of the new equipment in the country will bring “stability” in the supply, although “it will not solve all the problems.”

The official newspaper Tribuna de La Habana, which reported the news on Wednesday, did not specify the origin of the pieces, which were already known to come “by boat.” However, officials from the Isla de la Juventud assured that it is an “import program” that is one of INRH’s priorities to improve the situation in the country.

Another of the most affected supplies, and which cannot be solved by the authorities, is electricity. The Electric Union reported this Thursday, on its usual part, the explosion of a transformer in the Havana municipality of La Lisa and another 33 complaints pending resolution in the capital.

This newspaper recently documented the situation that Cubans are experiencing before a company that claims to have no resources even to “repair a cable.”

Stephany Novo Castro, from Centro Habana, told 14ymedio that she had contacted the Unión Eléctrica to report “a down phase” that had cut off the electricity flow to her home After the technicians arrived, they told her that the problem, which kept her without power for a week, not only was not the company’s “responsibility,” but that, even if they wanted to repair it, they did not have the materials to do so. For Novo, after hiring a private electrician and buying the necessary meters of cable, the arrangement cost her “three salaries.”

On July 24, a dozen residents of Centro Habana who had been deprived of electricity and water for days, staged a sit-in in Belascoaín and San Lázaro, which cut off traffic in the area. The rapper Eliexer Márquez El Funky , who broadcast a video of the protest on his social networks, pointed out the presence of two policemen who approached to talk with the ’plantados’.

“They don’t let anyone through, they say they have been without power for more than three days,” said El Funky, while a resident in the area replied that the problem is even greater. “It’s been 10 days and nothing and no one solves the problem for us. The food is spoiling; the children barely sleep at night. The refrigerators don’t work. The Electric Company comes and, supposedly, fixes the problem. It only lasts for 20 minutes when the electricity starts again. Enough, we are not sheep, just hard-working human beings and we need to live as people,” replied one user.

The malfunctioning of these essential services is one of the main sources of discomfort among the population, which complains about the constant failure of the services and the lack of solutions on the part of the authorities.


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