Rats and Sewer Water in the Heart of the Cuban Capital

The sewage slides through Jovellar along several blocks, to Soledad, where it bends to the right and almost reaches San Lázaro. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 28 April 2023 — A pestilent river runs this Friday along Jovellar Street, in Central Havana. If we continue upstream, the origin is seen in number 62, where it spurts forcefully from the door, as if a pipe had burst.

The sewage slides along several blocks, to Soledad, where it bends to the right and almost reaches San Lázaro, widening on its way. The foul-smelling stream passes in front of the Joaquín Albarrán polyclinic.

Asked about the reason for this disaster, the neighbors point out: “Look at the drains, they’re all clogged.”

On the edge of the waves of filth, full of human feces, other objects, such as paper and plastic water bottles, are dragged. In a bend between the street and the sidewalk, a rat splashes in the puddle that has formed.

Residents of the area have reported to the authorities of their municipality that they frequently suffer from intestinal problems resulting from water contamination and lack of cleanliness. At the beginning of this month, the inhabitants of an entire building in the vicinity fell ill for several days.

“I went to the office and they told me that the Government, that Hygiene and Epidemiology are aware of the situation, and that they don’t recommend using tap or boiled water,” a neighbor tells this newspaper. “We spend our lives carrying bottled water now. And all because of the contamination of the cistern, because that sewage is blocked, and no matter how much we ask for it, they don’t fix the drainage pipes.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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