October Rains Don’t Alleviate the Critical Situation of Cuba’s Reservoirs

Faustino Pérez Reservoir, in Guantánamo. (Granma)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 15 November 2022 — The reservoirs of Guantánamo province are in a critical situation. According to an article in the official newspaper Venceremos, in all they accumulate 29,851,442 million gallons of the 88,233,466 their million capacity; that is, they are only filled at 33%.

According to the article, more than 76,000 people are at risk of drought, “due to the partial or total depletion of 32 sources of supply in the municipalities of El Salvador, Imías, Maisí, San Antonio del Sur, Guantánamo, Manuel Tames and Niceto Pérez.”

The increase in rainfall since last month, says José Antonio Reyes, an official of the Hydraulic Utilization Company, is hardly a relief. The “more than 3,698,409 million gallons” that fell, says the provincial newspaper, is “a welcome but insufficient figure,” which does not fill “even half” of the storage capacity.

The information details that the reservoir that received the most water was that of Jaibo (1,585,032 gallons), but that this was “in part due to the total restriction of its deliveries,” followed by Faustino Pérez (1,056,688), which supplies the city of Guantánamo, with 203 gallons per second.

The La Yaya reservoir, continues Venceremos, only gained two million gallons, with a capacity of 160 million, and is at 32% capacity. This dam supplies the agricultural areas of Guantánamo, Niceto Pérez and Caimanera.

In any case, the official press blames the situation on the fact that “the rainfall maintains irregularities,” which “have benefited above all the upper areas of the municipalities and not to the same extent the receiving basins that contribute to the reservoirs.”

The easternmost of the provinces is the one with the most problems of drought and desertification. That, together with the strong emigration to the western part of the Island, has extended the saying that “Guantánamo is a desert.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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