Cuba: “I

n Cuba, water supply and sanitation is given great importance by the government, and in the last constitution,

approved in April, an article ratified the right of the population to safe supply and sanitation. Our National Hydraulic Plan defines both investments and maintenance to help improve the quality of the service we provide to the population. There is constant monitoring of water quality, both by our institution and the Ministry of Public Health. The new constitutional mandate calls for a transformation of the INRH, where all water supply and sanitation activities will fall under the umbrella of a newly-created entity. We are currently devising what will be a senior management organization subordinate to the Institute of Hydraulic Resources. This will help us provide more customer-oriented services. We greatly appreciate our

relationship with OFID, which enables us to work in provincial capitals and cities across the country. The INRH is working on five water supply and sanitation projects with OFID’s support, and these projects alone are expected to improve the living standards of

climate change and water works

Antonio Rodriguez Rodriguez, President of Cuba’s National Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INRH), is the country’s highest authority in the water and sanitation sector. During a recent visit to Vienna, he spoke with the OFID Quarterly about Cuba’s water resources, the impact of climate change and his country’s relationship with OFID.

around three million people. In 2010, with funding from OFID,

we started our water and sanitation project in Las Tunas – a city and municipality in central-eastern Cuba – which has already made a big impact by improving supply services to the provincial capital of Bartle, in Puerto Padre; not only improving the supply, but also improving the quality of the water. A second phase of financing recently agreed with OFID, alongside funding from the government, will support the Las Tunas Province Water and Sanitation Project Phase II. This new investment aims at further expanding water infrastructure in Las Tunas, providing improved living standards for some 150,000 people. The project is also expected

to strengthen local economic activities and tourism in the region. Climate change is evident in Cuba through the intense droughts that now occur more often, for example. To address these conditions, the INRH has a program to ensure we are using all water efficiently, to avoid water contamination, and to produce water through desalination – all measures we did not use in the past. We are also harvesting rainwater and ‘reusing’ water. The most important measures are to use resources efficiently, to maintain the infrastructure we have, and to build new facilities. We also experience more intense hurricanes in many provinces today. Recently, a tornado passed through the city of Havana causing a lot of damage.”


PHOTO: Diana Zuleta/

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