Worst drought in 74 years

Campaign News | Wednesday, 22 December 2004

Trucks supplying water to 700,000 in the East

Havana dec 22: Rainfall in Cuba between January and November 2004 reached its lowest record in the last 74 years according to registers for this period.

Cuba has two seasons: rainy (May-October) and dry (November-April). Throughout this year, the supposedly rain months registered the lowest precipitations since 1931. This, added to the drought that began in 2003, has dramatically decreased the availability of reservoir water, namely in the provinces of Las Tunas, Camagüey, Holguín, and City of Havana.

Aymee Aguirre, vice president of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, told Granma International that 95 reservoirs out of a total of 235 in the country are at 25% of their capacity, and 26 of them are no longer exploitable because there are below the death point.

The four worst affected provinces: Las Tunas, Camagüey, Holguín, and City of Havana are using cistern trucks to supply water to approximately 700,000 of their inhabitants and 51 new points have been opened for cistern trucks to load water.

Aguirre remarked that 488 wells haven been opened in these four provinces during the latest stage of this process. The population has also been furnished with 4,523 tanks of different capacity.

These efforts have been complemented by the repair of the Caonao-Pontezuela and the Pontezuela- Camagüey conduits. In Holguín, the Buenaventura and Antonio Maceo aqueducts have been restored. In Las Tunas, the Cayojo acqueducts have likewise been repaired, while in the capital, the Ingenito and Bacuranao tanks are being fixed.

Aguirre pointed out that work on the supply conduit to the city of Holguín has been concluded, and it is now in its operational phase. Works are also underway on the Máximo-Cubano-Bulgara conduit in Camagüey, amongst others at different stages.


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