Uruguayan workers mobilized in defense of water | News
The union of workers of Uruguay, the Plenario Intersindical de Trabajadores-Convención Nacional de Trabajadores, known as PIT-CNT, called a demonstration this Wednesday in Montevideo (capital) in defense of the right to water and to demand structural solutions from the State in the short term to the existing deficit in the country.
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Given the effects that this causes, the PIT-CNT will mobilize its affiliates starting at 5:30 p.m. local time. The march will cover a central area of Montevideo and will end in front of the Executive Tower, the seat of the national government.
In the call, the union recalled that they want to make the people believe that the crisis is due to the lack of rain, but more than 50 percent of the water pumped is lost due to the poor condition of the conductors. She added that there are a thousand fewer jobs in the public company Obras Sanitarias del Estado (OSE), responsible for supplying drinking water nationwide.
In a statement, the union center made it clear that behind the problem there is "a clear component of mismanagement, aggravated by disinvestment and lack of budget."
In the opinion of the Uruguayan unions, this situation is due to a productive model "whereby natural resources are not protected and are used based on the interests of agro-export capital."
The PIT-CN asserted that this situation will be perpetuated "as long as this model of inequality deepens, which is based on withdrawing the State from public affairs, dismantling public companies and privileging private business over the interests and rights of the population".
�� WE MOBILIZED IN DEFENSE OF WATER
Given the difficulties of access to a fundamental human right such as drinking water, the lack of information. clear and transparent, the irresponsible management of our common goods, we call to march in defense of water
18 and Ejido https://t.co/Tdp48rkfrz
– Intersocial Uruguay (@IntersocialUY)
May 31, 2023
The country is experiencing what is considered its worst drought in the last 70 years and for more than two weeks almost two million Uruguayans (out of a population of 3.4 million) have been forced to consume salty tap water or buy bottled water.
The scarcity of water in two reservoirs of the Santa Lucía River, which supplies 60 percent of the population, forced the authorities to use water with a higher salinity, which is extracted from an area of Santa Lucía close to the Río de la Plata.
One of those reservoirs, Paso Severino, had a total of 4,260,411 cubic meters until last Monday, just over 6 percent of its capacity. The other reservoir, called Canelón Grande, is dry.
Who are responsible?
The perception that this situation has not only to do with the drought was also palpable in the results of a survey answered by 21,357 people, applied between May 16 and 25.
11.64 percent of the sample considered that the situation is due to the lack of rain, but 88.36 percent expressed that there are also other responsibilities.
Of this segment, 54.27 percent considered that the problem is the responsibility of the current government, chaired by Luis Lacalle Pou; 12.35 percent blamed the OSE and 23.8 percent blamed previous governments.
The president of the Union Ferroviaria union, Washington Sánchez, assessed that "in the case of Uruguay, the lack of water is inadmissible, since we are standing above the Guaraní Aquifer, but it is controlled by transnational capital."
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