The “slow pace of procedures due to excessive paperwork” for the delivery of construction materials is “the main cause of dissatisfaction” among the victims of the January 27 tornado in Havana, the Cuban News Agency (ACN) acknowledges.
“On many occasions people must go more than once” to the offices established by the government where the paperwork is done “to register their situation, given the loss of documents or the poor quality of the diagnoses,” says ACN, which, however, affirms there is “stability in the entrance of materials, established control mechanisms and greater organization in the transportation of resources.”
The specialists working in the stores for construction materials ̶ which are sold at half price or are subsidized for those affected by the meteorological phenomenon ̶ “are overwhelmed by the fact that they must fill at least five and up to 10 invoices by hand,” which “sometimes leads to making mistakes and having to start the process again.”
Leonard Alfonso, administrator of one of the stores located in the Havana municipality of 10 de Octubre, assured ACN that, despite the magnitude of the damage, “a better organization is appreciated” than after previous events such as Hurricane Irma, but that “bureaucratic mechanisms can be perfected.”
He said that efforts are being made to resolve these difficulties “as much as possible,” “so that the victims con solve their problem” and “without having to go several times” to the stores.
Moreover, he explained that “several control mechanisms” have been implemented, such as “inspectors’ periodic and surprise visits” to the victims to check if they are using the purchased materials and “if these correspond to the damages they suffered.”
Meanwhile, Luis Antonio Torres, first secretary of the Communist Party in Havana, this weekend criticized at a meeting of the Havana government the “unjustified delay” in the “processing of documents and the prompt dispatch” of the materials for the victims, also reported on by the ACN.
Torres urged the officials of the capital to “accelerate the multiple actions undertaken, but with greater organization, order and quality,” in response to the complaints of the population of the affected areas, where the number of damaged homes already exceeds 7,000.
According to data discussed this weekend at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, so far 7,436 homes had suffered damages in different degrees as a result of the tornado had been recorded ̶ a number that has been increasing per day from the 1,238 initially reported ̶ while construction materials had been delivered to 2,048 victims and 564 cases were considered “resolved.”
The category EF4 tornado, with winds of around 300 km/h, left a balance of six people dead, about 200 injured and around 10,000 displaced persons, causing severe damages to homes and state installations, as well as in the electrical, hydraulic and communications networks.