Water rationing could start in two weeks; Ecuador ranks high for child malnutrition; Residents capture thief, burn motos; Cotopaxi eruption threat declines
Cuenca’s public utility company ETAPA says it will be forced to ration drinking water if there is no significant rainfall in the next two weeks. “Our rivers are running at record low levels and our watershed in the Cajas Mountains is very dry,” said ETAPA manager Veronica Polo. “In most of the areas that feed our reservoirs, there has been no rain for 51 days, which is extremely unusual for this region.”
The Rios Tomebamba and Yanuncay are so low, Polo said, they can be crossed on foot. “There are weeds growing in areas of the riverbeds that were once three feet under water,” she said.
If rationing is necessary, Polo said, service stoppage will occur on a schedule announced in the local media. “There will be no surprises and interruptions will be for periods of about two hours. We will minimize the inconvenience to residents as much as possible.”
Ecuador ranks high for child malnutrition
Despite claiming it was a priority, the government of President Guillermo Lasso has reduced Ecuador’s child malnutrition rate by only 3.5% — from 23.6% to 20.1% — since early 2021. Ecuador continues to rank second among Latin American countries in the category.
According to the United Nations, 20,000 children under the age of two suffer malnutrition while 60,000 children under five are malnourished.
Chronic child malnutrition varies across regions and ethnicities in Ecuador. Three in ten indigenous children suffer from the condition, which is most prevalent in the rural highlands. The provinces with the highest rates are Santa Elena, Cotopaxi, Bolívar, Chimborazo, Pastaza, Morona Santiago.
The United Nation report notes that most of the malnutrition is not due to a lack of healthy food but to the consumption of cheap processed products by poorer families. It recommends the government invest in public education programs to provide nutritional information to the public.
Residents capture thief, burn motorcycles
The residents of two Cuenca neighborhoods took justice into their own hands last week, capturing an alleged thief and burning two motorcycles.
On Wednesday night, a man was captured in Paccha parish following the robbery of a woman’s cell phone and purse and his motorcycle was burned. After his capture, a crowd gathered outside the community police office, demanding that the man remain in custody. According to one of the protesters, the same man had been released following an earlier cell phone robbery.
On Thursday night, residents of the Totoracocha parish, surrounded two men on a motorcycle following the break-in of a tienda. The suspected thieves escaped but the crowd burned their motorcycle.
Cotopaxi eruption threat declines
The Secretariat of Risk Management says it plans to discontinue all warnings of an eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano. “The activity at the volcano continues a declining trend and all signs indicated this trend will continue,” the Risk Management office said Saturday.
The current pre-eruptive phase began in October 2022 and continued show danger signs until June of 2023 when it began to decline.