By Safie M. Gonzalez
HAVANA TIMES – I think it’s been just over a year since I wrote an article just like this one, and the reality is that time is passing by and problems continue without a solution, and are even getting worse.
I’m forced to take the same route every time I leave the house, so it’s hard for me not to run into the same old holes, full of water on every corner. I live in a municipality in Havana that isn’t very central and it seems that’s reason enough for it not to be deemed important. I can’t remember how long it’s been exactly that these streets have been full with water leaking from broken pipes. Water that runs from one block to another, which we could perfectly call a river.
It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or a “water day” (the day this precious liquid is delivered to our homes, that isn’t every day), and the thing is our neighborhood and surrounding areas are full of water, regardless of the day. This isn’t news, I know, and lots of other Havana residents in the city’s many other municipalities are experiencing the same thing, but it’s about the little importance that is given to issues that are top priority for me.
As we know, stagnant water fosters breeding grounds for mosquitoes and it’s precisely at this time of year when Cuba has seen a surge in people sick with dengue. Epidemiologists are asking the population to help and to keep their houses clean, to prevent breeding grounds of the Aedes aegyptimosquito, but what about their responsibility? Public Health’s responsibility? Aguas de la Habana’s responsibility?
On the other hand, it’s also a matter of wasting water, which is just as important, as many citizens don’t even have access to this valuable resource, and they are constantly reminding us to save it.
Unfortunately, none of these companies are private. If they were, I think that the streets in my municipality would be completely repaired and the pipes fixed; zero leaks, zero potholes over a meter wide, where water accumulates. It’s another problem without a solution, one of the many we suffer here on the island, nothing new.