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Venezuelans build water system from abandoned highway tunnel

CaracasVenezuelans are steadily losing access to subsidized public services such as running water that has for years helped them survive the country's grave economic crisis, piling pressure on a population struggling under coronavirus quarantine.

A group of Caracas residents in June took an extraordinary step to beat water shortage and built a system to take advantage of water from a rainwater lagoon that built up at a stalled tunnel construction project near the imposing El Avila mountain that borders Caracas. They used 1,300 meters of hoses to design the network and the inhabitants of the community contributed 10 dollars to acquire the inputs of the structure.
Yraima Moscoso resident of slum Cotiza neighbourhood realized of water pooling inside an abandoned construction could end of suffering for thousands of her poor neighbours. Neighbours met and salvaged the coils of tube to build their own water system.

A recent study by the opposition-held National Assembly found that 73% of Venezuelans receive an irregular supply of water and 19.6% did not receive any running water in the past seven days. Just 7.3% said they receive clean water continuously. Maduro's government has blamed the recent shortages on an alleged act of sabotage at a reservoir that feeds Caracas.
Services including cooking gas and running water for years cost almost nothing due to heavy subsidies by the ruling Socialist Party, which has overseen a six-year economic collapse in a nation with abundant oil wealth.

The situation further limits access to services such as running water, which is crucial to prevent the continued spread of coronavirus, as the dollarization of rates makes them inaccessible to Venezuelans who earn local currency.

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