The Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development and the Economic and Social Council (CES) held this Thursday the first meeting of the Water Thematic Table with the participation of representatives of political parties, business and civil society.
According to a press release, at the beginning of the activity, the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, Miguel Ceara Hatton, detailed the water problem and its long-term solutions.
The economist and researcher explained that more than 84% of Dominican homes have toilets, and that only 20% are connected to the sewage system, which implies that 80% of homes depend on private sanitation solutions without the intervention of the State.
He also reported that, more than 60% of water is wasted in the agricultural sector to irrigate crops due to inefficiency of irrigation systems. He gave as an example that to produce one pound of rice, three thousand liters of water are required. In addition, only 26% of homes receive water 24 hours a day, the note details.
He concluded his intervention by warning that the water solution in the country is not resolved in four years, but in a period of 20 years. “It is a complex solution, in the very long term that will require an investment of eight thousand five hundred million dollars and that we will need the continuity of the State to promote its definition”Ceara Hatton stated.
The Vice Minister of Planning and Public Investment of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development, Pavel Isa Contreras, announced negotiations with the World Bank for a loan of 500 million dollars for the water sector, which demands a large amount of material and financial resources for the protection, conservation, and provision of services.
While the president of the Economic and Social Council, Rafael Toribio, took the opportunity to report that with the Thematic Table on Water, the CES begins the dialogue for the reforms for the institutional strengthening and more efficient administration of the State.
“With this working day of the Water Thematic Table we formally begin the reforms of matters of great national and State importance. I would like to thank the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development and its head, Minister Ceara Hatton, and at the same time congratulate him for having made the decision to be the first table with which we are going to start working, “he said, according to the statement.
He also recognized that the work methodology is to deal with substantial issues to the institutions and, therefore, the Ministry of Economy contains in its agenda the guarantee of water security. “That is why we are here,” said Toribio.
This meeting It is the first thematic table that is installed, in the context of the dialogue that is promoted around the 16 reforms promoted by the executive branch.
According to the note, the executive director of the Water Cabinet, Gilberto Reynoso, said that economic and social growth would slow down if the State and Dominican society do not become aware of solving and responding intelligently to provide water security to the new generations.
He also said that the challenge is to improve the management of the resource over time.
The proposal to consult the environment of the basins and their community and resident representatives came from Benjamín Batista Matos of the Economic and Social Council (CES), who warned about the precarious conditions of the residents of the basins and the state of erosion of these which negatively affects national water security.
At the meeting, headed by the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, Miguel Ceara Hatton, and the president of the Economic and Social Council, Rafael Toribio, it was agreed to form a technical committee, with the purpose of starting a period of consultations with community leaders and residents in the six watersheds: Yaque del Norte, Yaque del Sur, Yuna, Ozama, Artibonito and Enriquillo.
They also agreed to discuss in parallel to the visit to the basins, the document National Commitment for a Water Pact 2021-2036 and hold the second meeting next Wednesday the 8th from 10:00 in the morning, in the Carlos Ascuasiati engineering room, of the Ministry of Economy, the statement details.
The “technical committee” is made up of the executive director of the Water Cabinet, Gilberto Reynoso, representing the Government; for civil society will be Benjamín Batista Matos, Luciano Robles and Alba Russo, from Asonahores.
The political parties will be represented by Pedro Arias, from the Frente Amplio, and Milton Martínez, from Alianza País. After the visit to the basins, the committee will present a report on its findings to the Thematic Board of Water.
The conference was attended by the president of Alianza País, Guillermo Moreno; Altagracia Paulino from the Dominican Consumers Association; Olgo Fernández, from the Dominican Liberation Party; Pedro Guzmán, from the Dominican Revolutionary Party, and Miguel Liriano, from the International Socialist Bloc.
Also, Wascar Martínez, from Inapa, Olmedo Romano, and José Raúl Pérez, from Indrhi, among others. The reporter for the day was Jhoanna Camilo and the moderator was the executive director of CES, Iraima Capriles.