Local October 1, 2014 | 5:59 pm

Even with its 3 dams, Dominican highland town gets no water

Santo Domingo.- Dozens of residents of the town of Baitoa, Santiago province will hold a vigil for several hours in front of the National Palace Thursday to demand that president Danilo Medina include the construction of an aqueduct for their community and neighboring villages in the 2015 budget .

Leaders of the community nestled in La Sierra highlands say they’re tired of marches, walkouts and strikes to demand construction of the aqueduct in a town whose main supply, the north Yaque river, was rerouted in the early 1970s to build the Tavera Bao and Lopez-Angostura dams, with scarce water supply ever since.

The vigil will include Baitoa’s merchants, drivers, students, farmers, housewives and entire neighborhoods.

“We’ve always done our protests and claims in a peaceful manner, so this Thursday activities also have that same conduct or standard," said Councilman and community leader César Acosta.

He said more than 18,000 families in the town and surrounding areas suffer from the calamities of lacking drinking water, since the aqueduct functions only three times a month. “It’s inconceivable that Baitoa and other towns don’t have permanent water service, despite being surrounded by three dams.”

After the vigil the demonstrators will head to Congress, where Acosta affirms will deliver a document with their demands.

Baitoa, raised to the category of Municipality by Congress starting 2016, also lacks a sewage system, a park for healthy recreation and a playground for children.

The “Baitoeros” also demand that Santiago’s utility CORAASAN send tanker trucks to distribute free water.

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