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    Categories: Panama

Barges sent to ease Taboga water crisis

TABOGA, the Island of Flowers, and one of Panama’s most visited tourist destinations is facing a drinking water crisis and emergency supplies of water are being shipped by barge.

The island, and its 722 inhabitants , is located just 20 kilometers from the coast of the capital and, with its regular ferry services is the frequent summer destination of tourists both domestic and foreign. It was once a stopping point for the French post-impressionist painter Paul Gaugin, and has a rich piratical history, including the recent discovery of a hoard of gold coins and the graves of three British pirates. It is also home to the oldest church in the region.
The desalination plant on the island has been inoperative for 10 years, so residents and visitors take water from underground wells chlorinated by the National Water Authority (Idaan).
This summer the island underground wells have produced only 12,000 gallons a day of liquid, so that on average each Tabogano has only 16 gallons of water a day, well below the 113 gallons consumed by an average resident of Panama City
Jose Acevedo, regional manager of Idaan said that to improve the situation, from this week barges loaded with water will travel to the island until the rainy season starts.
“The operation has cost $ 100,000 and we will be sending a total of one million gallons,” he said. He added that the institution has already contracted for a new desalination plant which should be ready before the end of the year and will cost $ 2 million.
Health authorities have reported cases of children with scabies, lice and intestinal bacteria, a result of poor hygiene. Despite the crisis, residents and businesses continue strive to cater to tourists who come every weekend.
Jose Acevedo, regional manager of Panama’s Darien Idaan this and said that to improve the situation, from this week sent barges with water until the rainy season starts.
“The operation has cost $ 100,000 and will be sending a total of one million gallons,” he explained.
He added that the institution has already contracted for a new desalination plant which should be ready before the end of the year and will cost $ 2 million.
Health authorities have reported cases of children with scabies, lice and intestinal bacteria, a result of poor hygiene. Despite the crisis, residents and businesses strive to cater to tourists who come every weekend.
 

David Young: