People in Holguin are worried about the lack of home cleaning products, particularly so close to the beginning of summer. The shortages have worsened just when the health authorities are calling for extreme cleaning measures to prevent acute diarrheal diseases, which can be worsened by the heat and severe drought affecting the country.
The tips on frequent hand washing and thoroughly scrubbing kitchen appliances in every home, broadcast on national television, contrast with the deficit in the area’s markets of liquid detergent, chlorine bleach, degreasers and scrubbing agents. In local stores such as La Marquesita, Hanoi, Las Novedades and La Casa Azul, there are no supplies of any of these products.
Employees of the commercial network of stores selling in national pesos and hard currency in the provincial capital do not know why the shortages have been exacerbated. Customers, in turn, refer to the other provinces where these products are available. A situation taken advantage of by resellers who bring in the products from other provinces and sell them in the informal market.
The sector of self-employed workers in food services is among the most affected by the shortages. Holguin province has the fifth highest number of self-employed in the country, after Havana, Matanzas, Villa Clara and Camaguey. In the entire country, those who work in the food preparation and sales re present 12% of the 495,725 people working in the private sector.