River Cauto, the longest river of Cuba
The Cauto River is located in the Oriente of Cuba and it is the longest one in Cuba. The hdrographic basin of the Cauto river is born from the called place La Estrella, in the municipality of Palma Soriano, county of Santiago de Cuba, to 600 meters of height over the sea level, being born in north hillside of Sierra Maestra, Las Tunas, Holguín and Granma, this last with more portion.
It has an extension about 8.928 km², with a longitude of 343 kilometers that represents 8,1% of the national territory and it is inhabited about a million people. In its natural riverbed, the rivers Caney, Mefán Caña, Yarayabo and several arroyos like Guaos and Tusas are flowing of the Cauto river, which ends in Gulf of Guacanayabo.
The basin of the Cauto at the moment, is subjected to numerous projects, headed by the Cuban government, against the contamination and the drought submits for the irrational use of its petitions during years. These projects pursue the objective of protecting the flora and the fauna, by means of the reforestation, removal of polluting sources and measures of environmental education benefitting to the nature and man.
Due to the irrational use of the natural petitions that disposed the Cauto river, together with some climatic factors, have made that the Cauto river has abated the flora and fauna that inhabited in natural environment of this affluent. In 2003, the quantity of trees that still were in the affluent it was considered in 11% of the total area of the river.
In 1959, the Cuban government has looked for to improve the ecosystem that is present in the river, creating governmental institutions that take charge of the maintenance of the laws and to take a constant checkup of the situation of the river.
To palliate this desertification, in 2003, and in the mark of 6th Session of the Conference of the Parts of the Convention of United Nations, taken place in Havana between August 25 and September 5 of 2003, it’s given to know several statisticians and applied treatments to the environment of the river, which was classified as a good recovery of the river, because great part of the river has been reforested, abating the quantity from near polluting issuances to its basin.
The Cautious river was source of inspiration of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes who in 1852 wrote an Ode to the Cauto.