It is July 26th, one of the most important days in Santiago de Cuba. The heat is stifling and the only respite found during the day is a comfortable chair with a fan. Thanks to the extreme drought and continued poor management of utilities, by the government, the lights flicker and all of our water is gone.
It takes many phone calls and a lot of foot work, but the water truck has come to fill the cistern. This costs $12 CUCs, which is pretty much par with the US dollar, out of an average salary of $28 a month, this is scandalous.
Water is turned on one day a week so that everyone can pump into their cisterns, and yes, this one day a week dictates your schedule. For this privilege you pay only 60 centavos per month.
Sadly the water does not come every week, often it is no more than 4 out of 7 weeks, and during this drought often water does not appear for 3 weeks.
This house has a cistern that would normally last 21 days, but water hasn’t come often enough to keep it topped up. This week is Carnaval, and our friends and family have been camping out, the showers, the cooking and the simple guzzling of water has taken its toll.
I cannot imagine those that are sitting in this heat who cannot afford the few CUCs that would make things comfortable.