Fumigation in Today’s Cuba

The “bazookas” used for fumigation.

By Esther Zoza

HAVANA TIMES – You need a bit more than skill and strength to be able to work as a fumigator in Cuba. I happened to fall upon an argument between a resident of a house and one of these self-sacrificing health workers. The dispute played on my mind for the rest of the day.

While fumigators and their work are considered crucial for anti-vectorial campaigns, the reality is that they normally turn up a lot of the time when a family is getting on with their daily business and this can cause problems.

While the fumigation is underway, neighbors regularly come together outside their homes and begin to talk, letting out all their concerns. The conversation normally has an air of disappointment.

Inadequate sanitation of the city’s streets is a distinctive trigger for this despair. It’s hard not to see sewage water rising, neighborhoods transformed into large garbage dumps. Garbage dumps that inch closer and closer to apartment blocks, every day. This situation goes hand in hand with blackouts and their after-effect of mosquitoes. Breeding sites for larvae grow given the need to store water, while leaks outside become puddles in the street and dengue claims many victims.  

Of course, a simple health brigade worker can’t resolve all of this, nor are they responsible for the problems we suffer. But at this point, it’s clear that the neighbors – and all of us too – are wondering what’s going on with planning and prevention, and the systematic fumigation. It is logical that people worry about the shortage of fuel in the country, when it is essential for the operation of the equipment, people have dubbed bazookas, which prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes.

These mysteries are harder to unravel, especially when you have to spend most awake moments to look for food. The reality is that the Government’s widespread neglect is clear and it’s the Cuban people that are getting sick in the meantime.

Channeling this popular dissatisfaction is impossible for many. They need the tools not everyone can develop, especially when their health is on the line. 

Read more from Esther Zoza aquí.

Esther Zoza

I was born in the 60s. I love my country and its simple and sacrificed people. I like the arts, particularly literature. In music I enjoy traditional and contemporary trova, also opera and instrumental music. I respect all religions. I like esoteric and mystical subjects; I also enjoy the enigmas of the universe. I believe above all things in God. I am persistent and disciplined to meet my goals. I like the countryside. I live near the sea. I believe in relationships and love in all its manifestations.

2 thoughts on “<strong>Fumigation in Today’s Cuba</strong>

  • These fumigators work for the government. Spraying is not their only job, but when in your house they are taking inventory for the authorities. TVs, computers, appliances and anything of value is noted and reported to the communists.

  • I have traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and to a lesser extent to a variety of other warm weather and/or tropical countries. I have never seen house to house fumigation anywhere else. I realize my personal experience is anecdotal but do other countries do it the same way Cuba does it? I have seen aerial fumigation in a few places.

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