HAVANA – Nearly 1 million people have been affected by the intense and prolonged drought in Cuba, where reservoirs in 11 of 15 provinces are under half their capacity, state television reported on Friday.
Of the more than 964,000 people affected by this situation in April, the last month of the dry season, 663,000 reside in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, according to the report.
Countrywide there are 296 water sources of which supplies are affected, of them 234 offer partial supply and another 62 are paralyzed.
At the moment, the reservoirs of the island register 36.5 percent of their filling capacity, and in particular those of the central provinces Sancti Spiritus and Ciego de Avila and Camaguey, where the drought is especially acute, are below 25 percent.
Rains in the last few days allowed more than 54 million cubic meters of water to be collected in the reservoirs and have benefited the provinces Santiago de Cuba, Matanzas, Mayabeque and Havana.
In the Caribbean country, where 71 percent of the territory is affected by the scarcity of rainfall, immediate action is necessary in the absence of rainfall, including the installation of desalination plants, the excavation of wells and the replenishment of underground basins.
In order to alleviate the effects of the drought, the most serious of the last century, authorities – including the National Program of Water – have implemented measures of saving and rational use in sectors of high consumption.