Agustin Saavedra writes in Pagina Siete:
Shortcomings by the wastage of water
According to the results of the latest census of population and housing published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), somewhat more than 800,000 homes registered the year of 2012 (30,08%) lack of health services.
If we consider four inhabitants per dwelling average, we see that almost a third of the Bolivian population does not have basic sanitation.
In what refers to the provision of water, the information indicates that almost a quarter of registered housing is supplied with water by trucks, wells or wells with and without pump infrastructure, rain, rivers, slopes, ditches, lakes, lagoons or simple “curichis” [ponds].
Running water within reach with the simple opening of a faucet, sadly is still far away from many of our compatriots.
The water theme is recurrent. Rather than being a strategic natural resource, is a fact that on the one hand abounds and makes damage (the case of the floods); While on the other hand their lack becomes distressing.
Moreover, in this respect there are notable paradoxes. I recently read that – the capital of the Brazilian State of the Amazon, Manaus city and which lies on the banks of the gigantic namesake River – there is no available water utility in several urban areas, despite the fact that it faces to the world most mighty river.
In the same way it was reported in some regions of Tarija, there is no water, but today is a Department rich in oil royalties and has resources to solve the issue.
These strange circumstances (fruit of the lack of planning of administrators) must add the wastage of the precious liquid element. By criminal vandalism, or simple carelessness, there are millions of liters of drinking water that are lost daily due to breakage of pipes or because people there in their own homes the regulated flow of water and let it run irresponsibly without realizing (or caring about) that excess will automatically generate missing water elsewhere.
This we call for reflection. Above the positive aspects of the macroeconomic growth figures, the real reality shows us that is imperative to resolve long-standing structural failures that persist in Bolivia.
The country presents regrettable shortcomings, both in this issue of water and those concerned with child nutrition, schools which fall to pieces, public hospitals not providing basic services, etc.
Furthermore, it notes with grief persisting collective conduct prone to destruction and the neglect of the public goods and services, not to preserve them as they should be.
In this delicate appearance, it is seen that we need to encourage a greater civic culture, in parallel with the strict application of stringent sanctions against those who damage of commonly used goods and services.
Many are still the problems of structure and behavior that have to be overcome to attain reasonable levels of social, economic, and comprehensive development in Bolivia. Something has happened, but we still have to continue to work hard in that field and should be promptly.
Agustín Saavedra Weise is an economist and political scientist.