The government is opening of two new wells on Thursday in a popular Caribbean tourist city long affected by drought and lack of potable water, according to official reports.
Colombia’s Minister of Housing will travel to the northern beach town of Santa Marta to inaugurate the opening of the wells, according to a statement released on the Ministry’s website.
Protests broke out three weeks ago in what was to be an anniversary celebration of the city, after residents were left for four months without drinking water.
60% of more than the 1.13 million citizens of Santa Marta are reported to have gone without adequate access to water. The mayor, Carlos Caicedo, invited citizens to march peacefully and join the events that honor the founding of the city.
According to the Ministry’s reports, 20 out of 31 wells intended for the city have already been built.
Three days ago, protests grew violent in the northernmost desert state of La Guajira, where affects of drought are even more severe. The entire state has never seen potable water, and residents must purchase it in bags, even in the state capital. Electricity is scarce, and new crackdowns on border smuggling complicate the problem, as gasoline is required to pump water from underground sources.
Colombia’s Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday that they have built 13 new “jagueys,” in La Guajira, depressions in the ground to catch rainwater, which look like this:
— Alcaldía de Riohacha (@AlcaldiaRcha) August 14, 2014
- Mañana jueves Minvivienda acompaña la entrega de dos pozos subterráneos para atender la sequía en Santa Marta (Ministry of Housing press release)