LA PAZ – Students in the Bolivian provinces of La Paz, Oruro and Potosi will start their year-end break a few days early to ease pressure on water supplies amid drought, authorities said Tuesday.
While classes were originally set to conclude Dec. 7, students are to now to be released during the period Nov. 25-Dec. 2, depending on grade level, Education Minister Roberto Aguilar told state radio.
The measure was announced a day after the Bolivian government declared a national emergency because of the drought, which has forced the imposition of water rationing in some communities.
Residents of the hardest-hit areas of La Paz have seen their water use restricted to one day in every three, when the taps are turned on for three hours.
To provide some relief, the La Paz city government, state-owned utility Epsas and state oil company YPFB are sending water-filled tanker trucks to some neighborhoods.
On Tuesday, authorities deployed a police vehicle equipped with water cannon to aid in distribution.
Unhappiness over the water shortage and confusion about the rationing schedule has led to a series of protests and another has been called for Tuesday night.