Honduran officials alarmed over water shortage in capital
Tegucigalpa, Apr 13 (EFE).- This capital faces an emergency due to the lack of sufficient clean water to supply its 1.5 million residents, the head of the Honduran water and sewer authority told Efe Wednesday.
“The situation in Tegucigalpa is a true humanitarian crisis, because without potable water there is no life,” Sanaa director Leonel Gomez said.
Amid drought, he blamed the shortage on the failure of “previous bad administrations” to develop a plan for managing the resource.
An observer sees inhabitants lined up to fill containers from tanker trucks and people walking great distances to wash their clothes.
While the problem is most acute in the capital, other Honduran cities are also affected, and the squeeze is likewise having an impact on agriculture and industry.
Gomez warned that the shortage will not be remedied overnight, as creating the necessary new reservoirs is a time-consuming process.
The dam Sanaa has proposed building on the Hombre River, northwest of Tegucigalpa, will take years to complete, he said, adding that in the meantime, the authority is “working hard” with the government of capital Mayor Jorge Aldana to capture as much water as possible during the rainy season.
Some neighborhoods are visited by the tanker trucks every eight days, but residents in other parts of the city say they wait as long as 20 days between deliveries.
One of the reservoirs that supply Tegucigalpa, La Concepcion, is currently at just 41 percent of capacity.
“If we don’t become aware and reforest the country and avoid massive burning of trees, we will have a deeper crisis in the coming years,” Gomez said.
In the short team, he said, a worsening of water shortages in Tegucigalpa could threaten public health by damaging the sewer system, force businesses to shut down, and make it difficult for schools to operate.
He encouraged Hondurans to conserve water and to regard the resource as a public good instead as a way to generate profit.
Gomez said authorities have detected people tapping into the main pipe to steal water that they then sell from tanker trucks for 30-50 lempiras ($1.20-$2.00) per barrel.
Per capita income in Honduras is around $5,000 a year. EFE ac/dr