10 years from the start of the Bolivarian Revolution, led by President Hugo Chávez, Yuvirí Ortega, head of the Ministry of People’s Power for the Environment (Minamb), expressed satisfaction for progress in environmental matters and said that one of the most important successes was that 94.7% of the population now has access to clean drinking water.
Ortega highlighted the construction of important water-related infrastructure projects that have improved the distribution of this vital liquid. Among these projects, she mentioned the Winka Guajira Aqueduct System, the renovation of El Guapo Dam, and the Tucutunemo Valley Bolivarian Aqueduct.
Among the Minamb’s long-term projects, Minister Ortega emphasized the Guaire River Cleanup Project, scheduled to end in 2014, which involves canal and plumbing renovation. She also announced that two studies are being conducted for the construction of low-environmental impact water filtration plants.
The Minister also commented about environmental conservation, in particular a program to convert open-air trash dumps to sanitary landfills, and spoke about progress in the Las Mayas trash collection plant. This plant will help solve the problem of trash collection and disposal from the greater Caracas Metropolitan area. Minister Ortega also emphasized recycling as an alternative for the sustainable use of waste.
Community Participation in Environmental Issues
Ortega briefly detailed the achievements of Misión Arbol (Tree Mission; a social reforestation program) and the participation of conservation committees in the areas of reforestation and water basin recovery.
Among the successes in environmental education programs, the Water in Our Lives Plan stood out; this plan involves teaching school children about the benefits of water.
The Minister also emphasized the level of organization reached by technical committees for water. These citizen-based committees allow communities to take charge of water services and solve their own water supply problems.
Technology for the People
Minister Ortega announced that 600 weather stations using eight existing radar systems will be installed throughout the country. These stations will be staffed by personnel from the new National Meteorology and Hydrology Institute (Inameh), who will work in conjunction with the Ministry of People’s Power for Science and Technology.
These teams will improve real-time weather forecasting, and will look for early signs of climate change and global warming.
The Minister indicated that the Bolivarian Revolution is giving power to the people. She also emphasized that all of the Ministries are working as one, noting that the work being done by the Ministries for the Environment, Infrastructure, Housing, Health and Education in the construction and renovation of schools and clinics, among other things, are not solely a matter of building infrastructure, but also tackle social problems.
Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN), Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / February 4, 2009