Shantytowns in Mexico City have no access to running water

World Today

In Mexico City’s Outer suburbs, thousands of people don’t have running water.

Many have waited for years while the government has struggled to deliver water to nearly 21 million people in the area.

CCTV’s Martin Markovits reports.  Follow Martin Markovits on Twitter @MartinMarkovits

Shantytowns in Mexico City have no access to running water

Shantytowns in Mexico City have no access to running water

In Mexico City's Outer suburbs, thousands of people don't have running water. Many have waited for years while the government has struggled to deliver water to nearly 21 million people in the area. CCTV's Martin Markovits reports.
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Every morning, Jesus Jimenez walks one mile to get water from a delivery truck. It has been his daily routine for 12 years since he moved to Chimalhuacan, an eastern suburb of Mexico City. In this shantytown community, it’s the only option they have since running water is a commodity that has yet to arrive.

This area gets soaked every rainy season, but this brings problems such as flooding and sanitation issues, due to a lack of effective sewers to remove waste, which makes not having running water in their homes even more unbearable in the community.

Part of the problem, the hundreds of thousands illegal settlements spread across the Mexico City metropolitan area. Most of these shantytown dwellings were constructed without having any authorization from government officials. This has severely strained the regional water supply.

Mexico City relies on pumping water from underground aquifers and wells, which are close to running dry. This means, the government is forced to pipe in extra water from miles away but this never reaches the poorer neighborhoods.

According to Reuters, the local water authority estimates that nearly 60,000 people in Chimalhuacan and a neighboring community are receiving running water from two installed large water tanks but many who live in the mountains still don’t have water.

The government has promised to deliver running water by the end of 2017. In the meantime, some households are resorting to rainwater collection to fill the gap. Until government makes good on its promises, this might be the only solution for these deprived communities.