Europe’s largest shantytown lies half an hour from the city center of Madrid and has been without power for two years. Some of the 8,000 or so residents of Cañada Real have been without electricity for two whole years since October 2020. Around 4,000 people have been affected by the situation. These people cannot run their air conditioner or fans in the heat waves or heat their homes in the middle of winter.

Source: COPE/YouTube

Now, exactly two years later, not enough has changed. The sector of the town continues without electricity, and with winter looming, they fear what will happen if they go for their third cold season without power.

In January 2021 Filomena hit Madrid with the heaviest snow in 50 years, and water pipes were frozen. Then this summer went down as Spain’s hottest summer since 1961. Throughout all of this, water supplies to Cañada Real failed.

Although residents have figured out how to live in these horrible conditions, it is not sustainable or fair. Those who can have bought generators and other heat or cooling machinery, but those who can’t afford them have suffered even more. The Guardian reported that during the pandemic, children in the town had to hike up the hill where they could get half-decent mobile coverage. Other children have stopped going to school because they could not stand the bullying about their hygiene.

In December 2020, a group of UN experts warned the Spanish government that the lack of electricity violates the children’s right to adequate housing. They also noted that it was “having a very serious effect on their rights to health, food, water, sanitation, and education.”

The regional government had blamed the lack of power on illegal cannabis farms in the area that crash the electricity supplies.

Everyone deserves a right to safe drinking water and electricity to live. We hope that the Spanish government will finally step in after two years and help their citizens in need.

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!