Photo Feature by Elio Delgado Valdes
HAVANA TIMES — Afternoons in the city turn dark, the cloud of smoke thrown into the air by the thermal power station’s chimney, clouding the atmosphere, pollutants are expelled out, ignoring the effects this has on the environment… This isn’t a description of something that might happen anywhere in the world, this quite simply happens on a daily basis at the Otto Parrellada Thermal Power Station, formerly the Tallapiedra.
Located in Old Havana, a densely populated area, its pollutants spread, soot covering the entire city. Living with such a situation seems to be a natural thing for the neighborhood’s residents, people standing on their balconies or rooftops enshrouded by this cloud, ignoring what’s going on, it seems like they’ve adapted to the situation or rather they don’t know about the damage caused by degrading the quality of our air.
This particulate matter on the surface goes beyond the surrounding space; air moves it over great distances, contributing to the pollution of places far from the source.
It’s insane! Today, the problem of environmental pollution is being discussed around the world so as to defend and conserve the planet while Cuba is an isolated case, the government has been silent on this subject and studies, treatment and environmental management processes have been ignored.
This issue has been touched upon by national mass media; however, it doesn’t seem to be too much of a worry. Environmental degradation which means treating pollutant residue, the byproduct of industrial activity, is an issue that shouldn’t fall on deaf ears, at a time when human rights are being discussed.
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