Families in search and capture of lost water in the streets of the Cuban capital

Families in search and capture of lost water in the streets of the Cuban capital

Every neighborhood has its secrets, its particular signs and its brands. The place where the lowest pile is located is one of those pieces of information that can save a meal, a bath, and even a life. It is in that faucet, sometimes at ground level, where the water arrives first and leaves last. Sometimes it is inside the stairs of a house, others in the corridor of a cuartería and many times, in the old outlet of a hydrant that has run down.

In the midst of the deep water supply crisis that Havana is experiencing, where more than 200,000 people are affected by the lack of the precious liquid, knowing the closest point where you can go to fill at least one jug, at dawn or that day when water is finally pumped, it is vital knowledge. As in those wide and hot savannahs where the animals try to reach the only lake that allows them to cool off and drink, in the Cuban capital a basin that releases a trickle, when the others are dry, is anyone’s wet dream.

With patience, for long minutes and hours, the men filled bottles, containers, the jug that they would later place in the refrigerator and quench the thirst of their large family.

Sitting on the porch, a couple of young people were trying this Tuesday afternoon to fill some buckets in the basement of their building located on Malecón avenue. A pipe, which was once under the sidewalk but has emerged due to soil erosion and the despair of the neighbors, released a small stream. It was all the water that had arrived in days at one of the many quarters overlooking the sea on that street that acts as a border and breakwater.

With patience, for long minutes and hours, the men filled bottles, containers, the jug that they would later place in the refrigerator and quench the thirst of their large family. Right there, too, they took the opportunity to take a bath in front of the gaze of passers-by. No one flinched or was shocked. Finding water in Havana is a meritorious task. Anyone who knows where the lowest faucet in their neighborhood is located has a better chance of washing their mouths, cleaning a baby or making lemonade.

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