New Water Cuts Announced in Havana for Thursday

It was reported that there will be no water from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Water trucks like the one in the photo supply water. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 19 October 2021 — To the despair of the residents of La Lisa, Playa and Marianao, the Havana Water company said that on Thursday they will interrupt the service in those municipalities “due to maintenance and repairs.”

In a statement published this Tuesday and by the official press, the state company specified that there will be no water from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, and that the arrangements will be made “in the conductors and in the electrical lines that feed the well field of the Ariguanabo supply source.”

Havana Water was responsible for a sinkhole in Lawton, in the Havana municipality of Diez de Octubre, which caused an entire building to collapse. According to this newspaper, the huge hole was covered, and what was left of the house was demolished, but the neighbors asked about it do not know what happened to its inhabitants.

On the other hand, the continuous problems of the water supply occur at a time of extreme crisis, to which the so-called ’Ordering Task’* and its subsequent monetary unification contributed. Many of the products used for storage and the domestic supply of water have become extremely expensive since the beginning of the year, not only in informal networks but also in stores that only take payment in hard currency.

“It turns out that a water pump for a three-story building is more than 5,000 pesos,” claims Mercedes, a neighbor of Los Sitio, in Centro Habana, who has been suffering water cuts for several weeks. Mercedes says that with such a price, she and her neighbors had to give up the idea of raising money to buy the device that would allow them to bring the the water up from a cistern.

Plastic cisterns and tanks have also also risen in price. We are facing an instability in the supply that becomes even more complicated when considering a population without resources to acquire storage devices

With the announcement of the interruptions foreseen for next Thursday, some have screamed to the high heaves because they have been suffering from the fluctuations of the supply for days without these difficulties being previously reported. “I left Arroyo Naranjo fleeing from the lack of water, because for a week in my house all that comes is a trickle some early mornings,” Luis Lorenzo, a 56-year-old from Havana, tells this newspaper.

“I came to my sister’s house here in La Lisa, because she lives on the ground floor and although the water arrives with little force, it has a little shaft at the entrance of the house that serves to fill the tanks, jar by jar,” he says. “But now, when I was getting the pleasure of bathing every day, she tells me that there is going to be a lack of water here as well. This problem is haunting me.”

In Marianao, it seems that nothing surprises the neighbors. The municipality is “cursed with regards to water,” say its residents. To the neighborhood’s slogan —  “Marianao city that progresses” — decades ago the ironic “with a bucket on its head” was added, to refer to the constant need to carry water for domestic consumption from long distances.

*Translator’s note: The Tarea ordenamiento, the [so-called] ‘Ordering Task’, is a collection of measures that includes eliminating the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), leaving the Cuban peso as the only national currency, raising prices, raising salaries (but not as much as prices), opening stores that take payment only in hard currency which must be in the form of specially issued pre-paid debit cards, and  many others throughout the economy. 


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