The residents of La Cañada Real are preparing for another winter without electricity: “It is an outrage against human rights”

A total of 4,000 residents of the Cañada Real Galiana, in Madrid, including 1,800 minors, who have lived more than a year of “survival outright” without light, prepare to live another winter without heating, but do not give up and ensure that they will “keep fighting” so that their power supply is restored.

We want light immediately because it cannot be consented that more than 4,000 people, 1,800 of them minors, spend another winter without heating “, stressed the president of the Tabadol cultural association of sector VI of Cañada Real, Houda Akrikez, in statements to Europa Press.

Akrikez has claimed “contracts” like the one that any citizen belonging to the Community of Madrid has, in order to “pay for the electricity supply”. “We are going to continue in our struggle, our message is clear, fair, citizen recognition, we want light and we want to pay for it,” he said.

In his opinion, what they are experiencing is “an abuse of human rights” because by not having electricity, their homes do not meet the appropriate conditions to live.

Study under a lamp

In the case of children, Houda Akrikez explains that they have to do their homework “under a light that is charged with daylight”. In addition, he says that the cold is already taking its toll on his health because, in his case, he has been suffering from acute bronchitis for a week.

To mobilize, the residents of the Cañada Real have created a civic platform to support the fight for the light of Cañada Real Galiana, to which citizens, organizations, social entities can join. They can also send support videos to the address ‘[email protected]’.

Also, on October 27, residents of sector VI submitted a contract request to UFD, the group’s electricity distribution company Naturgy. In its response, the company states that UFD is “in a position to attend to all requests for connection to its distribution network that are accompanied by the documentation required by law.”

In this sense, the company ensures that it is “fully involved in collaborating in solving the problem, always within its limited powers and in strict compliance with current legislation.”

The fight continues in sector V

For its part, The residents of sector V of the Cañada Real managed to organize themselves to have electricity, controlling consumption a lot, although they fear that now when everyone connects the stoves and radiators in the face of the cold wave, they will exceed the maximum power and will be left without electricity again.

“We continue to fight for adequate meters and facilities, legal infrastructures and paying for electricity like all neighbors, because it is a right,” the spokesperson for the Al Shorok-Amanecer association, Cristina Poza, explained to Europa Press.

Poza has valued the work done by the residents of sector V so that everyone had light. “At first, we took turns, we were seeing how they combined the transformers so that the light would not jump, the work of the neighbors in the street changing the flow of the transformers, has been the pure and simple survival. Some were in charge of collecting money, others of buying materials, others of digging ditches, others of putting new wiring, “he recalled.

Although, he points out that, Until they have legal accountants, they will always be with the “constant threat” of getting up one morning, pressing the light switch and not turning it on, a fear that increases in the face of cold waves like the one that has entered Spain this week and in the face of possible storms like Filomena.

Faced with this situation, last January 2021, different Christian communities sent a letter to Pope Francis requesting “his mediation and prayer for the very difficult situation” they were living in the Cañada Real Galiana.

However, the priest of San Carlos Borromeo, Javier Baeza, who signed that letter, has informed Europa Press that they have not received a response, not even an acknowledgment of receipt.

Relocate families

The government delegate in Madrid, Mercedes González, proposed at the beginning of last October, in a meeting with the regional president, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, revict all the families of the Cañada Real Galiana within a period of three years, through a budget of 200 million euros between all administrations.

In addition, last week, the Secretary of State for Agenda 2030, Enrique Santiago, announced during his appearance in the Congress of Deputies, that they will allocate 5 million euros to alleviate the situation in Cañada Real, with which they demonstrate, as he said, “the political will” of the Government to provide a solution to this situation.

Precisely, on September 28, a inter-ministerial working group promoted by the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 to provide comprehensive solutions to the population of La Cañada Real. The team, made up of the ministries of Social Rights, Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, and the High Commissioner for Child Poverty, is coordinated by the Government Delegation in Madrid.

The Minister of the Environment, Housing and Agriculture of the Community of Madrid, Paloma Martín, celebrated and welcomed “willingly” that the Government of Spain is involved in the relocation of inhabitants of the Cañada Real Galiana.

According to sources from the Department of the Environment and Housing of the Community of Madrid, the Executive Committee will be convened shortly, which is the decision-making body and, once it is held, the monitoring commission of the Regional Pact for the Cañada Real Galiana will be convened.

In any case, the same sources have specified that, from the Cañada Real regional commissioner, meetings are being held with the parliamentary groups and work is being done in a coordinated manner with city councils and delegations.

But while administrations and distributors insist on showing their good will to solve the problem, a year has already passed and 4,000 people, including 1,800 minors, are once again facing the uncertainty of having to spend another winter without electricity and cold ice cream.


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