The only thing socialism has given Cubans is oppression, destruction, and misery, and after 64 years, it’s the gift the keeps on giving.
Havana: Little water and lots of trash on the streets
In a recent planning meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, hot topics of relevance for Havana were discussed. Among them, two of the issues that most affect the population: water supply and garbage collection.
Despite the serious problems that have recently arisen with the city’s water supply, primarily caused by the breakdown of many pumping systems and the insufficient number of tanker trucks supplying the precious liquid to an increasingly larger number of customers, the governor of the capital, Yanet Hernández Pérez, attempted to present the situation with certain hints of optimism.
She expressed that the state of the city’s eight main water sources was trending towards stability and that out of the 15,000 people affected by the water shortage in recent days, the current figure had reduced to 4,492. Furthermore, she announced that new pumping equipment would soon arrive in the country, which would allow more people to receive water through the distribution networks and depend less on tanker trucks. The latter service was riddled with indiscipline and acts of corruption, including the frequent illegal sale of tankers at astronomical prices.
However, while the governor was making these statements during the meeting with Marrero, reports from the population emerged that cast doubt on the alleged stability put forth by the official.
The ordeal of a woman in San Miguel del Padrón, who stated that there was no drinkable water in her neighborhood was brought up. The tanker truck service, which used to provide water every 12 days, had extended the delivery cycle.
There was also the case of an apartment building in the Centro Habana municipality, which had been without water for almost three months, and the tanker truck service was not provided regularly. The residents of this building had to fetch water from other places to meet their needs.
Regarding the collection of solid waste, the meeting discussed the anomalies that occurred in the provision of this vital service. It was mentioned that currently only 174 out of 440 collection teams (trucks) operated by the Communal Enterprise were in service. There was a shortage of tires, batteries, and, on many occasions, fuel for the trucks to carry out their mission.
In the meeting, the low salaries of Communal workers were mentioned, as well as the lack of access to benefits and other labor incentives. Undoubtedly, a situation that discourages people from staying in this line of work.
Another factor undermining the effectiveness of the service is its poor organization. At times, they repeat garbage collection in certain neighborhoods while other areas go for several days without any collection trucks appearing. Of course, this disparity is not always due to poor planning. It is known that authorities prioritize central areas of the city, while in the periphery (Alamar, Boyeros, Marianao, La Lisa…), garbage overflows onto the streets.
Bad news once again awaits the residents of these peripheral areas. Because on September 15th and 16th, Havana will host a summit conference of the Group of 77 plus China, with the attendance of many guests, including heads of state and government. And of course, Díaz-Canel will make an effort to showcase a beautiful city to his guests. Consequently, the areas where these guests will be should be sanitized, and logically, without garbage in the streets.
Well, when will the garbage collection take place in other parts of the city then? Well, whenever God wills it.