Repair Havana’s Hazardous Sewage Systems

Target: Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health

Goal: End the blockages occurring all over the city which are causing health hazards and spreading diseases

Poorly maintained sewage systems in Havana, Cuba have become a new source of disease and begun to pose serious health hazards to people living in the city. Blockages in drainage pipes currently affect more than 60 percent of the capital’s residents, with workers saying that many of the systems have gone 50 years without necessary maintenance.

One particular apartment block in central Havana has had its cisterns polluted by a flooded sewage tank and are now at risk of cholera, dengue fever, hepatitis A, leptospirosis, and salmonella. Matters are not helped by the observed rat, mosquito, and cockroach infestations. The affected water includes that which is used for the residents drinking, cooking and bathing, and at least two children have had to be treated for infectious diseases already.

This apartment block has experienced all of these issues before and has repeatedly reported them, having been told that the Sewage Management Company would fix the systems. However, the problem has persisted for years without the situation being changed.

Workers claim that they are aware of the ever-widespread issue, but claim to be unable to do anything. They cite not only the fact that this particular apartments block’s issue lies in the difficulty of repairing the main pipe, which is different from those inside the building, but that Cuba’s economic situation as a whole does allow for the necessary repairs.

However, residents of the building claim that more can be done, as a similar issue at a store just meters away was repaired within 24 hours. Demand that the Republic of Cuba Ministry of Public Health takes the appropriate steps to work with and ensure that Havana’s Sewage Management Company end this situation.


Dear Republic of Cuba Ministry of Public Health,

An issue which has been present in Havana for years grows more widespread and serious every day. A staggering 60% of the capital’s residents are currently affected by blocked drainage pipes as decades have gone by without much of the sewage system having been properly maintained. The result is a pollution to the water supplies which citizens use for drinking, cooking, and bathing; leaving them in serious danger of contracting diseases such as cholera, dengue fever, hepatitis A, leptospirosis, and salmonella.

Workers from the Sewage Management Company have stated an inability to do anything about these issues, claiming that a lack of money, as well as it being the mains rather than in-building pipes being blocked, that make repairs problematic. This location of the pipes is not a legitimate justification, as this suggests that the only aspects of this problem seen fit to be addressed are the “symptoms”, as they are easier. This, in the long run will fix nothing as it is the literal root of the issue which needs to be fixed in order for these blockages and apartment floods to stop occurring.

Please, acknowledge the severity of this issue affecting the people of Havana, and work alongside the Sewage Management Company to ensure that their lives are not compromised as a result of the city’s own waste systems.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Clive Moss

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