Venezuela’s Ordeal for Water

It is estimated that 86% of Venezuelans have water problems. Thousands of people are taking extreme measures to get water

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A man carrying a water bottle on Thursday in downtown Caracas, Venezuela (EFE).

Spanish – Venezuela is a country of contradictions, and with the water problem there is a paradox: the Chavista tyranny orders and implements one of the most restrictive and extreme quarantines in the world, but, at the same time, a large part of the country has no water to wash their hands and stop the spread of the coronavirus.

In the 21st century, Venezuelans are forced to perform quasi-medieval tasks to get a little bit of water. The images are apocalyptic.

People digging wells in their homes or neighborhoods, carrying tanks on top of their vehicles, children carrying water on their backs, elderly people pushing carts with some containers. The scarcity of water in Venezuela is the perfect representation of what socialism has produced.

We cannot forget what destroyed the water system in Venezuela: the disastrous policies of Chavismo, corruption, and lack of maintenance. The same situation occurred with electric power, gas service, and the oil industry.

86% of Venezuelans have problems with water supply

The NGO Venezuelan Observatory of Public Services estimates that 86% of Venezuelans have reported problems with their water supply. About 11% do not even have direct running water, according to a study conducted in April 2020.

An excellent investigation by the Associated Press showed the harsh reality that the people of Caracas are living, a situation that extends to the rest of the country. Thousands of citizens have taken the personal initiative to look for water on their own because of the inefficiency and inability of the state to solve their problems. It is true Chavista nature to worsen the situation. The Venezuelan people have taken several measures: digging wells until they find water, setting up their own private water system, looking for water in lagoons or even abandoned sites, loading tanks on top of cars, or pushing carts to carry some containers of water to their homes.

Nicolás Maduro has not lost the opportunity to take advantage of the water crisis that his own regime has created. He is exploiting people’s misery for political gain. According to the tyrant, the problem is not the fault of Chavismo and its inability to manage resources coupled with corruption. He has accused his political opponents of “sabotaging pumping stations.” Meanwhile, he announced with much fanfare that he had bought 1,000 water trucks from China to deliver water. This is yet another representation of the Chavista socialist model- destroying and then redistributing crumbs.

The lack of running and drinking water is a tragic situation under any circumstances, but with the problem of the coronavirus, the risk increases exponentially. Venezuelans are at risk – many can’t take the slightest safety precaution, others are taking precautions, but they are all exposing themselves to the danger of the virus when they go out to find water.

Distribution of drinking water cans in Caracas (Photo: EFE).

The same situation also applies to the inconvenience of food and cooking gas. These are also part of the daily ordeal suffered by millions of Venezuelans in their constant struggle to survive.

Water in Venezuela has simply become a luxury within the reach of very few people. Even those who are fortunate enough to have it relatively, often suffer because the water is contaminated. The list of problems can go on and on. Some get water once or twice a week, others every two weeks and some go months without receiving even a drop of water.

People have different solutions, from buying tankers to loading buckets to be self-sufficient. This is not a new problem, but it has been growing.

A clear example of the problem is that of Ciudad Guayana or Ciudad Bolívar, cities with the two largest tributaries in Latin America, the Caroní and Orinoco rivers. However, their people are suffering from a water shortage. The regime can barely provide for a few families to cover up its disastrous management:

At the Ruiz y Paez hospital in the capital of the state of Bolivar, to cite one of many examples, the nurses reported that they have spent months without water and that they don’t have medical supplies to deal with the coronavirus. Further, inadequate transportation is another impediment to going to work.

A few days ago, journalist Daniel Blanco tweeted three videos about how a community was looking for a spring through an abandoned well.

“All the people who are in the abandoned tunnel trying to get to the spring water do it for free to supply their neighborhoods. This is what they see on their journey. Parroquia Altagracia in the Capital District,” the journalist said on Twitter.

The drastic measures that Venezuelans are taking to obtain water are proof that the problem has been growing. So when citizens go out to find water, they have to risk exposure to the virus and the ferocity of the tyrannical regime that imposed an extreme quarantine disregarding the fact that Venezuelans have no way to subsist without leaving their homes. The ordeal to get water in Venezuela is in full swing, but things can get worse.

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