Havana, Cuba.- The Prime Minister of the Republic, Manuel Marrero Cruz, headed the monthly meeting with the country’s governors and the intendant of the Isle of Youth, from the Palace of the Revolution.
The numbers and the analysis confirm it once again: We are closing the year and the projections of the housing plan will not be fulfilled as planned. At the end of October, only 13,300 buildings were completed in the country, 54% of the annual plan. The lack of cement and steel continue to be the great Achilles heel, but also the methods and ways of working.
That is why the analyses and indications given in the most recent meeting of the also member of the Political Bureau with the governors and the intendant of the Isle of Youth were so profound, where it was reiterated that this is one of the priority programs of the country because of its scope for the benefit of the population and what it contributes to social development.
The review of the housing program is not new, but its materialization is becoming more and more urgent, because as it was said in the meeting -carried out by videoconference from the Palace of the Revolution- an additional effort can still be made to advance in its fulfillment.
In this sense, the Head of Government stressed the urgency of reorienting the work systems with an approach based on demand and control to achieve better results. “We have to start a different system and promote this as an essential, social, revolutionary movement, in order to be able to give an answer to the population.”
In addition, she insisted on issues related to housing prices, the role of construction companies, the typologies of homes, that all agencies build housing, how families get involved in the building of their homes, as well as the local production of construction materials, with emphasis on the manufacture of fired red ceramic elements, as explained in the meeting.
On this particular, Dilaila Díaz Fernández, general director of materials of the Ministry of Construction, referred that in order to achieve the productive levels of this product that ensures the deficit declared in the Housing Program, 83 million bricks per year need to be produced. “In 2022, 39 million were achieved (47 % of the need) and it was the best production in terms of the quantity of bricks in the 12 years of the local production program of materials being constituted.”
So far in 2023, 4 million more bricks have been delivered than in the same period of the previous year, however, only 52% of the need has been reached. In this sense, Diaz Fernandez assured that it is necessary to accelerate the increase of production capacities. It is necessary, he said, to build furnaces, efficient furnaces, molds, extruders, mixers, and all this must be done with local resources. “We have to design and build with red ceramic solutions”.
For his part, René Mesa Villafaña, Minister of Construction, explained that the agency has reiterated the importance of local production, which is the heart of the housing program. “In each province we have insisted on how to develop that local production and how we are going to multiply the cement that is delivered, although with clay we can make everything that is floor, wall and roof elements.”
In the same line of thought, Commander of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, vice prime minister, recalled that there is a study on the route of clay in Cuba. “That is up. Where is it? There are indications to build the kilns. The plans have been delivered to the territories. Are they doing it? Why don’t they do it? What is the discipline? What is the control? There are indications and they are simply not executed in the territory”, he affirmed.
Towards the end of the analysis, the Prime Minister demanded to create all the conditions to ensure next year’s housing construction plan. “We need the population to see that in this issue so complex, so sensitive, that affects so many people block by block, there is an additional effort, there is a different way in which this program has been approached, that it is more participatory than ever, that the companies are helping, that there is popular participation, that there is a different system of checking it.
“Things can’t take forever. Several times we have talked about this dissatisfaction, but this is a matter that can be transformed, even with the complexity of steel and cement”, reiterated the Head of Government, who called for demand and control.