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Friday, July 3, 2020

Drought and faulty network … In the midst of an epidemic, Martinique lacks water

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Martinique, November 30, 2018. (Illustration) – Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

Due to drought and faulty pipes, the Martinique is facing increasing numbers of water cuts, in the midst of an epidemic
coronavirus, which leave the population in anguish.

If the water cut “should last from 8h to 22h”, at Nicole’s, in Sainte Luce (south) it lasted three days. His town has made a tank available, but at 68, the retiree considers the operation too risky because social distancing measures.

Several days without water

At home, in the middle of “containers, basins, pots, with water right to left”, she worries about “hygiene” but also dengue and mosquitoes which could proliferate. At Ducos, Nicolas has been without water for four days. In its neighborhood, two tanks have been installed. “I have a little rain water, jerry cans, containers but it’s still four taps for an entire neighborhood, it’s crazy,” says this teacher.

Martinique has 145 confirmed cases and 8 deaths since the start of the epidemic. The revolving cuts have intensified so much that the two senators on the island have seized the file. On Facebook, Senator Catherine Conconne calls in particular to “not hide behind an apocalyptic scenario of drought”. According to her, the real problem comes from “a break (of pipeline) in the north not repaired correctly for years”.

Breaks of regular pipes

A situation that has lasted since 2009 and for which a solution has been found, assures the spokesperson of the Territorial Collectivity, Daniel Marie-Sainte, specifying that the dossier will be presented “at the next plenary session of the Assembly of Martinique”. But other regular breaks on the 1,700 km of network and the drought at the start of the year are also responsible. 94% of the water resource comes from rivers, the level of which is at the lowest.

The deficit in the production of drinking water represents six million liters per day, ie the daily consumption of 40,000 inhabitants. In mid-March, the prefecture issued a decree to regulate the use of water. “Water to wash your hands yes, to wash the car no,” said his spokesman in early April.

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