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Posted June 09, 2004 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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Serious prolonged droughts have wreaked havoc in Cuba, especially in the central and eastern regions.

The droughts, have lasted for nine months, and are considered the most fierce since 1961.

Losses were estimated at more than 15 million USD in Las Tunas province, one of seven eastern provinces registering the lowest rainfall over the past year. All sources of animal feed, even hay, have been exhausted. Over 6,000 cattle, 30 percent calves, in the province were killed due to a lack of water and food. About 3,500 dairy cows are facing the same problems.

Droughts are also causing major problems for Camaguey province, a key area for agriculture and animal husbandry in the central region.
Fifty-two reservoirs in the province with a combined capacity of 1.2 billion cu.m of water are likely to dry up, local officials said.

Camaguey’s main water supplier, the Cuba-Bulgaria lake, with an estimated capacity of 138 million cu.m, has just 2.6 million cu.m of water left.

The province has taken some emergency measures to help farmers and residents, including sending water tankers to residential areas and digging more canals to bring water to rice fields.

According to the Central Meteorology Station, up to May, this year none of 14 provinces nationwide have had 60 percent of average rainfall.

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