14ymedio, Havana, August 4, 2021 – The city of Sancti Spíritus will be without water for at least three days next week due to repair work. But the authorities warned that it could be longer, given the possibility of a new “impact” that is not foreseen in the plans for fixing the “biggest leak in the city.”
The cutoff of the water supply affects 70% of the population of that area, about 90,000 of whom reside in the city, according to a note in the local press.
The Director of the Provincial Aqueduct and Sewer Company, Franklin Lantigua Moreno, said that “the work requires the complete replacement of one of the pipes and two 900-millimeter-diameter valves, located on the first street of the Camino de La Habana.”
“We’re talking about the entire central and northern part of the city, from the central park (Serafín Sánchez) to the north of the city and continuing toward the exits from the city: Los Olivos, Reparto Toyos, Kilo 12, Huerto escolar, Reparto July 26,” he said. He pointed out that the southern area of the city, housing 30% of the population, should not be affected by the work because it is served by the Yayabo Water Treatment Plant.
The official is blunt about an alternative for guaranteeing the supply of water by other means: “We don’t have a way to supply the entire population by water trucks.”
The solution that he has asked the residents to make is to set aside water reserves “that will allow them to supply their homes for at least 72 hours.” He did say that they are prepared to guarantee sufficient supply through water trucks to “care centers, the Provincial Hospital, polyclinics, and isolation centers.”
Lantigua Moreno explained that what started as a leak of 15 to 20 liters per second is now more than 60 liters. “The material of the new pipe that we are going to install is iron, it is very resistant. According to experts it should last more than 60 years,” he said.
As he explained, they couldn’t start the repair work earlier because the necessary resources, such as valves, flanges, flange cutters, and 900-millimeter pipes, “were outside the territory.” According to him, they have had to hunt down all the necessary replacement parts for “interconnection” in Havana and Ciego de Ávila.
He says that they have several brigades in order to be able to work “continuously” because their goal is to finish before the weekend — “the days with the city’s highest water consumption.”
The cutoff of the water supply comes while the province is suffering an exacerbation of the Covid pandemic, with more than 200 positive cases a day. Of the 262 confirmed at the end of Tuesday, all were local with one exception, and included three deceased, one in Yaguajay and another two in Jatibonico and Trinidad.
The provincial capital is in the lead, with 102 patients, while Jatibonico has 44 patients, Taguasco 40, and Cabaiguán 25.
But the high figures are not only in the city of Sancti Spíritus: Trinidad registered 18 positive cases yesterday and has now imposed a curfew starting at two in the afternoon.
Throughout the province, the incidence of confirmed cases in the last fortnight is 669 per 100,000 inhabitants, a rate exceeded in several municipalities such as Taguasco with 1,648, Jatibonico with 896, and Sancti Spíritus with 778.
Translated by Tomás A.
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