MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, June 4th 2023 - 10:35 UTC



No end in sight for Bolivia's drinking water emergency

Tuesday, November 22nd 2016 - 07:52 UTC
Full article 1 comment
Bolivians without drinking water, a nightmare for President Evo Morales Bolivians without drinking water, a nightmare for President Evo Morales

Due to an unprecedented drought and to other man-caused factors, the country is suffering from water scarcity in five of its nine departments. La Paz's three main dams are almost dry and the city's residents have seen their taps go dry for up to 60 consecutive hours.

 Hundreds of thousands of grieving Bolivians, particularly those who live in La Paz struggle every day to get their minimum requirements of drinking water and it is not getting any better since The department of Social Control of Water and Sanitation (AAPS) declared the water crisis indefinite and that 2017 might bring more of the same.

Protests have arisen in La Paz and Cochabamba community leaders reportedly kidnapped El Alto city water authorities on November 17, holding Vice Minister of Water Ruben Mendez, Regional Director of Epsas Roberto Rojas and at least six others hostage when Minister of Water and the Environment Alexandra Moreira failed to show up for a meeting on the crisis. The officials were allegedly realeased by the police. But that did not change the fact that there is no scheduled end to the rationing program in La Paz, which affects some 340,000 people. Rationing has also been introduced in other cities such as El Alto, Cochabamba, Potosi and Sucre.

One hundred schools have been affected by the rationing and the Ministry of Education is considering drawind the school year to an early end, it was reported.

President Evo Morales has ordered water technicians to find a solution as people have been digging makeshift wells, although health authorities have found that only 6% of the water from those wells was of safe drinking quality.

According to the specialists monitoring the situation, the problem stems fromol-dated gauges that measure airflow as well as water flow, as well as the policy of municipal water company Semapa to charge a flat rate for sewage and water services – whether or not those services are received. The disappearance of Andean glaciers due to climate change is also said to have a huge impact on Bolivia. Without their waters, the country’s second largest lake, Lake Poopo, was declared officially evaporated – gone – in December.



Categories: Environment, Latin America.
Tags: Bolivia.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • ChrisR

    So The Cow Pat has 'ordered' water technicians to find a solution!

    Solved in one minute or less.

    Don't know what the problem is.

    Apart from Bolivia is populated by a bunch of idiots who have backed The Cow Pat up to the hilt and a now reaping his pathetic dictates as if he knew what he was talking about.

    Nov 22nd, 2016 - 08:00 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!