Drought threatens cattle
Campaign News | Wednesday, 14 April 2004
Some 3,400 water sources for cattle exhausted
BY RAISA PAGES - Granma International staff writer
April 14: THE ongoing drought in Cuba’s eastern region has caused 3,400 water sources for cattle to dry up, 3,368 of them in areas ranging from Camagüey province to Guantánamo in the extreme eastern end of the island.
This situation has led to water being transported by truck to 230,800 heads of cattle: 211,900 of them in Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo.
The most critical situation is being faced by livestock in Camagüey, one of the largest cattle-raising provinces in the country. Reports indicate that more than 100 cattle are dying per day for lack of food and water.
José Ortega, a livestock/rice cultivation specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture, told Granma International that many more animals would require water being brought to them if it weren’t for the installation of 1,000 windmills and electric water pumps that do not consume fuel.
Investments in recent years to improve the water supply are beginning to produce results, given that during the 2002 dry season, when rainfall was not so light, water had to be transported to more than 400,000 cattle. The worst year was 1993, when more than 600,000 animals required such a service.
During this year, 800 more windmills have been installed, and another 150 are about to be constructed in the country’s eastern region, which is always more affected by drought.