14ymedio, Havana, 3 February 2023– The drought in the province of Las Tunas, which last year caused the deaths of 4,400 head of cattle, will not let up in 2023, with the reservoirs now at a third of their capacity.
The latest bulletin from the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INRH) reports that the 23 reservoirs under its administration in this eastern province accumulate 106 million cubic meters of water, equivalent to 30% of the filling capacity. These results indicate the “obligation to prioritize this natural resource fundamentally for the consumption of the population,” adds the official newspaper, Periódico 26, which quotes the report.
The low accumulation of water is mainly due to a drastic reduction in rainfall, which at the end of January barely reached 6.8 millimeters (mm), well below the historical average for that month, of 30.3 mm. The outlook for the coming months is not seen as encouraging for the families of Las Tunas, especially due to evaporation in the dams and a greater demand due to the increase in temperatures, at least until winter begins between May and October, warns the provincial newspaper.
The drought was one of the factors that prevented the development of the agricultural sector in 2022 and led to the death of cattle due to “mismanagement and insufficient availability of water and food,” Manuel Pérez Gallego, a member of the Central Committee, and first secretary of the Communist Party in Las Tunas, said at the beginning of January.
The municipalities most affected by the shortage of water reserves are Jobabo, with barely 8% in storage, as well as Puerto Padre with 12%, Jesús Menéndez with 18%, Colombia with 32%, Las Tunas 33%, Manatí 42%. and Majibacoa 59%, while Amancio has the least alarming figure, with 74%.
Periódico 26 pointed out that the insufficient amount of water has forced the toughening of the “saving” measures in consumption. One of the most rigorous was applied to the Juan Sáez dam, the one with the largest storage capacity, which had to restrict the supply for customers in the sugar and agricultural sectors.
Similarly, the supply has been limited in the regions of Jobabito, Bartle and Bejuco, and also those of the main municipality of the province, whose homes will be served through pipes on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The newspaper also asks the population to take “extreme measures” in the consumption at homes, schools and workplaces.
Cuba suffers more and more prolonged and continuous droughts, a phenomenon that last year left consequences in the production of the province of Villa Clara, where, according to the official press, about 22,000 cows also died due to lack of water, food and medicine.
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