LP gas tanks installed by Odebrecht to be removed; Cuenca sidewalks unfriendly to the disabled; Theater of the barrios; Respect your trash collector!

Mar 25, 2023 | 7 comments

Viernes, 24/3/2023

Hola, Todos –

If there’s anyone out there who is missing collard greens, I have a lot of seeds. The greens bolted and went to seed so I’m not sure what’s coming up – something closer to the parent rather than the hybrid? If you want some seeds – they’re not in the quantities for commercial production – email me at felizencuenca@gmail.com.

Actividades –

Música y teatro en barrios cuencanos (Music and theater in Cuencan neighborhoods) – The ‘Provocando Experiencias’ Collective is preparing the 1st Festival de Circuitos Culturales in which music and theater will tell the stories, legends and secrets of the San Roque, San Sebastián, and Todos Santos neighborhoods. The public can get to know these traditional neighborhoods through art, on walks, and by visiting crafts workshops. These free cultural circuits will begin in mayo with dates published in the collective’s social networks and that of the Casa de la Cultura Núcleo del Azuay.

LP gas storage tanks east of Cuenca will be dismantled due to foundation instability. The tanks were installed by the Brazilian contractor Odebrecht.

From El Mercurio del jueves, 23/3 (1 article):
Las especies, protagonistas en la exposición de Acosta (Species, protagonists in Acosta’s exhibition) – Isabel Acosta has an exhibit at the Galería de la Alcaldía (Bolívar y Borrero) until el 17/5. “Retratos” (Portraits) is composed of 38 watercolors on poster board with the insects, birds, reptiles, and amphibians of Ecuador as the subjects. Hours are from 8:30-17:00, M-F. The exhibit is free to the public after registering at the gallery.

Titular –

Discapacidad lidia aún con ‘barreras’ (Disability still deals with ‘barriers’) – Research done by the U. of Cuenca showed that over 85% of the streets in Cuenca are very inaccessible to people with physical impediments. The researchers audited 214 sidewalks in Cuenca and concluded that none of them complied with the INEN 2241 standard which dictates the conditions that sidewalks should have to allow people in wheelchairs or other mobility aids to circulate. The results were published in the magazine Science Direct.

There is an interactive display at public.tableau.com which maps the accessibility of streets for different mobility conditions. A tool for cellphones is being considered to evaluate 2 aspects of accessibility on a street level. The first is compliance with the Norma Nacional de Accesibilidad al Medio Físico (NAMF) and the 2nd is the characteristics of obstacles that make pedestrian movement difficult. The research showed that a person using crutches or a wheelchair can’t access 4 out of 5 streets. <Even those of us who are physically capable, but don’t pay sufficient attention to tripping hazards, have wound up doing faceplants on Cuenca sidewalks. Is cluelessness a disability?>

Cuenca –

Hay obreros heridos de EMAC al manipular basura peligrosa (EMAC workers injured while handling hazardous waste) – The Empresa Municipal de Aseo de Cuenca (EMAC EP – the lcity garbage company) is promoting a campaign to prevent accidents to its collectors. Workers have been injured by sharp objects and metal cans in household garbage in spite of gloves and other protective gear. Users of the service need to dispose of sharp objects appropriately and avoid having surfaces or edges of those objects exposed. According to EMAC data, 56% of the accidents were from bad disposal of sharp objects in household garbage. An injured employee receives antirretroviral treatment, continual exams, and a year of medical followup. In 2022, this led to 219 days of lost labor. It is recommended that you dispose of sharp objects in a rigid jar or packaging, pack it with tape and put it in a black garbage bag with a “peligro” (danger – your word for the day) label. <It might be a good idea to label what the danger is – vidrio roto (broken glass), cuchillos usados (used knives), granadas sin explotar (unexploded grenades), eggs you forgot to put into the refrigerator that have been sitting in the back patio since 2021 (huevos olvidados desde 2021), etc.>

From El Mercurio del jueves, 23/3 (2 articles):
Lo que mal inicia, mal acaba (What begins badly, ends badly – this sounds like a handy phrase for the day) – The Empresa Pública de Hidrocrburos del Ecuador (EP Petroecuador) will remove the two sphere shaped propane storage tanks at the Terminal de Challuabamba. They were installed as part of the Pascuales-Cuenca poliduct project, built by Brazilian contractor Odebrecht which was involved in a corruption plot. The project was supposed to be finished in septiember, 2015, but wasn’t delivered until diciembre, 2016. By then the budgeted cost of $250 million had ballooned to $623 million. <So who’s sitting on some of that overrun? And where have they stashed that money?> The duct was supposed to transport propane and other fuels directly from Guayas to Azuay, Cañar, El Oro, Loja, Morona Santiago, y Zamora Chinchipe overland.

The spheres operated between 2016 & 2018 but were shut down when cracks started appearing in the soil. Since then, the Consorcio Sensor Cuenca, which has been monitering the soil conditions, has concluded the tanks need to be removed to avoid the soil collapsing and putting Chaullabamba at risk. According to Rafael Armendariz, manager of transport of Petroecuador, Odebrecht did not do the study required before placing the tanks and so did not detect internal flowing water. He said each empty tank weighs 170 metric tons, the equivalent of 17 10,000 gallon tanker trucks. Each sphere can store 3,600 tons, all of it sitting on badly compacted soil with running water below. There are another 9 tanks at the Terminal de Challuabama in a more stable zone which are functioning and receiving diesel, diesel premium, Ecopais gasoline, Súper gasoline, interface, and Etanol from the poliduct. The propane that used to come into the tanks from the poliduct is now being transported to Cuenca overland in tanker trucks or in 15 kilo gas tanks. <I have a feeling that the houses I worked on had better soils and geological reports than this multi-million project storing flammable materials.>

Investigación de megaobra (Megaproject investigation) – Pablo Medina, former consultant to the Comisión Nacional Anticorrupción (CNA), said that the contract with Odebrecht was unilaterally terminated due to series of problems encountered with the project. A bribe of more than $2 million for the signing of the contract was confirmed, and a report from the Comptroller’s Office found inconsistencies and irregularities including some that fall into the criminal camp. The Government has demanded $72 million from Odebrecht for liquidation, $35 million more to make required repairs, and more for damages, losses and lost profits. <And jail time? Or is that what Glas served time for?>

Region –

Tránsito parcial al pasar por Molleturo (Partial traffic through Molleturo) – The vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme was partially opened to vehicles at 14:30 ayer after landslides last Wed. closed the road at kilometers 78 & 98.

In El Oro, vehicular circulation was restored at the access Uzhcurrumi-Quera with a Bailey bridge in the Porotillos sector. The 25 meter long structure can carry 40 tons. This secondary road serves as the alternative route for light vehicles after the closure at km. 112 in the Gramalote sector of the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje. <When I read secondary road I see flashing red lights that say “You do not want to risk your tires and suspension on this road.”>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –



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