the problem is going to last a long time; Gustavo Petro

the problem is going to last a long time; Gustavo Petro
the problem is going to last a long time; Gustavo Petro

President Gustavo Petro ratified this Wednesday in Santa Marta that this city will reach its 500 years in 2025 without having access to drinking water in more than half of its neighborhoods.

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The national leader was sincere with the citizens by informing them that currently there is no clear alternative to resolve this chronic problem that the inhabitants of the second city have historically suffered. oldest in America.

Regarding all the proposals on the table, Petro, without further arguments, mentioned that the solution could be a mix of several projects, among which a desalination plant, the Magdalena River and the rivers of the Sierra Nevada.

“Even tripling the water budget in Santa Marta, solving this problem in Colombia would take us a century.”

In any case, he recognized that Santa Marta, like the entire country, requires special attention to this drinking water problem, and mentioned the possibility of committing future periods to allocate resources to a great structural solution.

“Even tripling the water budget in Santa Marta, solving this problem in Colombia would take us a century (…) That is why we got into a problem, which is changing the matrix of future validity in the next 30 years, which is all dedicated to 4G highways and that we want in those 30 years to have the 100 billion pesos that the solution for drinking water and environmental sanitation for all of Colombia costs. Before the road, the water,” said the president.

In Santa Marta, the problem with water persists.

Photo:Santa Marta Mayor’s Office

Likewise, without giving times or defining the amount of resources, he gave a directive to the Minister of Housing, Catalina Velasco Campuzano, to work on the formulation of an irreversible and progressive project so that Santa Marta not in one year, but in a medium term begins to see its deficit resolved in the precarious aqueduct it has.

Petro says that political differences have prevented giving water to Santa Marta
The president called for unity around the solution to this problem, ensuring that political interests and differences have prevented further progress. Meanwhile, he assured that private companies, through the tank truck business, are the most benefited from this crisis.

He then gave the floor to the Minister of Housing, Velasco, who also accepted that, despite having 22 months studying the most viable project for the capital of Magdalena, Not much has been achieved, even compared to Quibdó, which suffers from the same problem and although it only started working on a solution in January, it already has a structured plan.

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“It is the city to which we have put the most energy and I came today thinking that I feel frustrated because for 22 months we have already been going round and round about the technical scenarios, the financial scenarios, the different alternatives, and I did not see a path,” indicated the national official.

Regarding the reasons for not moving forward, the Minister of Housing said that it is precisely due to the democratic debate in the city, which she described as “vibrant.”

However, he agreed with the president in the sense that it is necessary to unite Santa Marta around drinking water, which is the greatest need for homes.

Governor criticized the mayor for shelving ongoing water project

What was said by the president and the minister regarding the political differences that exist in the city regarding the water problem was evident in this event, where the governor of Magdalena, Rafael Martíneztook advantage of his intervention to criticize the way in which Carlos Pinedo became mayor of Santa Marta and question his water proposals that were different from those left by his predecessor, Mayor Virna Johnson.

At the same time that this meeting between the president, the leaders and the community was taking place, on 30th Street, a main avenue in Santa Marta, a group of residents blocked the road demanding that they be supplied with water.

Nothing was consolidated from this visit by President Gustavo Petro to the city, however, the community claims that, as announced, at least joint work between the nation and the local government will begin to end a disease that It seems to have no end.

By Roger Urieles
For EL TIEMPO Santa Marta
In X: @rogeruv

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