Twenty-four Japanese garbage collection trucks are already in Cuba, the first batch of a donation of 100 vehicles to solve Havana’s long-standing problem with its hygiene and image due to the accumulation of waste in the streets.
Manufactured by the Japanese companies Hino Motors and Kyokuto Kaihatsu Kogyo and delivered at an official ceremony in the Cuban capital, the new garbage trucks will start operating immediately, while the rest will arrive in the coming months.
It is expected that the incorporation of these trucks “will have a great impact on Cuban society and the environment,” declared during the ceremony the new ambassador of Japan in Cuba, Kazuhiro Fujimura, who presented his credentials in Havana a few days ago.
The shipment is part of a donation worth 10 million dollars channeled through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and signed in 2017.
The workers in charge of operating the waste collection vehicles were trained before the trucks arrived, said the director of the Provincial Unit for the Collection and Final Distribution of Garbage in Havana, Odalis. Acosta.
The Cuban capital has a long-standing problem with garbage collection which it attributes to the lack of containers and especially of trucks, since out of the 92 needed to effectively collect the waste in the city only half of them are working and the rest are broken down.
The agreement with Japan also includes the supply of specific tools for the repair of these equipment and spare parts, a fundamental aspect in Cuba, where vehicles and industrial machinery are inactive for long periods due to the lack of parts for their repair.
The Cuban authorities attribute this situation to the difficulties caused by the U.S. embargo, which forces the island to resort to more distant markets and this delays the arrival of supplies.
The pressing problem of garbage collection in Havana is, along with the deterioration of buildings and infrastructure, one of the problems that the authorities of the Caribbean country are trying to solve for the celebration of Havana’s 500th anniversary this year.
The Cuban state media have denounced the situation on several occasions and acknowledged that the prolonged presence of garbage in the street, added to the high tropical temperatures, results in the contamination of soil and water, as well as entailing dangers to human health.