Water shortages make pandemic hygiene tough in Mexico City


Mexico’s capital has been battling with water shortages for a while, as some places have no running water with which to wash hands in the midst of the pandemic.

According to the latest government data, San Gregorio sits in the chronically poor Xochimilco district of the city, where poverty rates hover around 40%.

Oil drum-sized blue plastic containers, often grouped together are used to deposit water to be used by the owners.

Victoria Arias Lopez, 26, is one of many neighbours who depend on these water deliveries. She says the barrels help for everyday household needs.

“Every 15 days, they come here to leave us water,” she says.

“We always have to clean trash out of the buckets before the ‘pipas’ come.”

Lopez says her family the water is too dirty to drink so they only use for washing dishes and clothes, and buy drinking water. Each bottle of water costs 150 pesos – slightly more than a day’s wages for her husband.

“The truth is we suffer a lot with water,” said another woman named Lucero.  “All the neighbours do.”

It rains in Mexico City almost every day for six months per year. Yet years of poor city planning, a lack if infrastructure investment and corruption have led to severe water shortages. The city’s public water lines do not extend into this neighbourhood.

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