HAVANA, September 29 Authorities in Havana have drastically reduced the vehicles responsible for collecting solid waste on city streets, claiming that their cost is very high and that the US embargo hinders the importation of spare parts.
The newspaper Tribuna de La Habana reported Saturday that it had access to reports from the Provincial Government and learned about “the drastic reduction of these collection carts, whose cost in the international market is more than $ 80,000.”
“To collect garbage generated by Havana, every day, more than 90 specialized collector vehicles are required,” the official newspaper reported. These cars had to cover the urban density of the 15 Havana municipalities, with a population of more than 2 million citizens.
The report, which does not disclose how many trucks were removed, said there are “pressures on suppliers, from the surveillance agencies of the United States government to support the blockade of Cuba.”
These agencies would control, according to the note, up to “the minimum ratio of the manufacturing components of these cars and the link with US brands” with the Cuban government.
The newspaper also blamed the inhabitants of Havana for overflowing the streets with waste. “We must ask ourselves our individual responsibility: to place the waste outside the container, to deposit debris, metal objects, wood, plastic, glass, subtracting wheels,” he added.
The reduction of garbage trucks will further exacerbate the sanitary landscape in the city, under the threat of deadly hemorrhagic dengue and Zika, and on the threshold of its 500th anniversary.
This excessive accumulation of solid waste in the neighborhoods not only carries the danger of promoting vectors such as the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, transmitter of various diseases, but also translates into the contamination of natural resources such as water.
Authorities of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INRH) in Cuba recognized this month that there are more than 14,000 polluting sources at the national level. Of these, about 3,000 affect the quality of the waters in the different hydrographic basins of the country.
In November of last year, the government of Japan donated nearly 10 million dollars to Cuba for the sanitation of the capital. The agreement, signed by provincial authorities and the Japan International Cooperation System (JICS), included the acquisition of more than 60 garbage trucks.
At that time, the national press said that the shipment of vehicles would reach the end of 2018 and will improve community services for 2019. Officials said then that the city only had 40 trucks due to “aging of the park and frequent breaks “