In a hamlet in Venezuela, people use ashes trying to clear the water

In a hamlet, located in Falcon state, residents resort to mixing the water with ashes, then filtering it, to make it a bit more drinkable.

The inhabitants of this hamlet in the municipality of Zamora, share what little water the reservoir can store with the animals. Photo by courtesy.

By Lisbeth Barboza Ruiz.

The water crisis is affecting the lives of 90% of Venezuelans, but the hardest hit is villages like Corozalito, in the municipality of Zamora, in Falcon state.

There, running water stopped arriving three years ago. Miriam Goitia, a resident and neighborhood leader in Corozalito, the hamlet 60 minutes from Coro, the capital of Falcon state, said that after they take water from the nearest dam, they must put ashes on it to clear it up.

The ashes drag down with it some of the dirt floating in the water, leaving thick mud at the bottom of the jugs and pails were the desperate procedure is performed.

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She admits that the resulting water may be unfit for human consumption, but it’s either drinking that water or dying of thirst. Additionally, the drying reservoir where they get the water from is the drinking spot from cows and goats in the area, which some neighbors raise.

The residents of this area of Falcon reported that the water from the Corozalito dam is about to dry up due to the severe drought they are going through, and they have no hope that it will fill up again because it has not rained since last year.

Magdalena Primera says they need water for humans, without having to share it with the goats they raise. Photo by courtesy.

Some argued – like Magdalena Primera – that they need to drink water that is suitable for humans, without having to share it with the goats and cows. Primera said she has not seen clean water in so many years. She lost count. She longs to have clean water again and to be able to drink it without fear of getting sick.

Besides the dramatic water crisis, there are also problems with the area’s cattle. Felix Arias, a resident of San Nicolas, said the animals are dying for lack of water or food, and the few that remain are being stolen by groups that kill cows and goats to sell them in the town of Cumarebo.

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