Nicaraguan Rural Safe Drinking Water

$442 of $7,500
22 Days Left
Location: Leon Region, Nicaragua
Partner: EOS International
Placement: Clean Water
Impact: 3,500 People

Lift Up 1 Person in Need for ONLY $2.15! Safe and accessible drinking water is a basic right to everyone in the world. Unsafe drinking water is one of the greatest single threats to human health. Waterborne diseases are responsible for over 840,000 deaths worldwide, most of them children. EOS International’s safe drinking water program focuses on rural populations in both Nicaraguan and Honduras, Central America. In these countries, people living in rural areas have the highest poverty rates and survive on little more than U$1 per day. There are approximately 11,700 established rural community drinking water systems in Nicaragua, however more than 85% of these systems have been found to be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Most of these water systems lack filtration or chlorination capabilities and the community water board does not have the capacity to maintain or operate their system properly. Contaminated drinking water is the main source of gastrointestinal diseases and, at times, death in children under five. When communities gain access to clean water lives are saved and illnesses are reduced, translating to a population that is healthier, better educated, and more productive. With a comprehensive approach, EOS provides cost-effective safe drinking water solutions at the community level. EOS’ approach includes water quality testing and analysis, community water treatment and education, ongoing chlorine tablet distribution and on-going monitoring through our Circuit Rider Program. We provide ongoing assistance, education, evaluation, and chlorine tablet supply to all of our rural communities through an established network of 50 chlorine distribution centers throughout Nicaragua. EOS’ chlorine tablet distribution program allows entrepreneurs to generate income while supporting clean water initiatives. On average these small businesses can generate up to $150 per month in profit, often operating out of a person’s home or corner store. Distribution centers receive training on accounting, business practices, inventory management, and proper tablet storage and handling standards. All solutions are locally-operated and require co-financing from all involved. Our program demonstrates that for just pennies-a-day, we could dramatically reduce the incidence of waterborne disease and save lives. We have prioritized our operations by working both on a local and national level to target SDG 6.0. SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in and there is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. However, due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, millions of people including children die every day from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene. EOS’ work will focus on the following SDG targets: 6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. EOS targets rural communities living in poverty throughout Nicaragua providing water quality solutions at the community scale. We ensure that the community’s water system is operational, and the community water board has the knowledge and resources to maintain high quality drinking water for their community members. We also ensure that their drinking water is safe to drinking, meaning that it is free of bacterial contamination. Finally, we work closely with the water board to establish an appropriate user water bill that will cover the costs of water system operation and include a reserve for emergencies. One of the critical aspects of ensuring water systems are operating sustainably is community ownership, where community members are empowered to and have the knowledge to maintain and repair their water systems with locally available resources. This community management model consists of community members stepping up to serve on the volunteer water board responsible for operating the drinking water system. EOS’ water technicians or otherwise referred to as Circuit Riders because they visit several communities within a circuit, provide technical, administrative and educational support directly to the community water board members. EOS’ Circuit Rider Program focuses on building the institutional capabilities of community water boards to run their own drinking water systems by providing on-site support and training in three key areas: 1. Technical: repairing drinking water systems and providing instruction on disinfection procedures, source water protection, and water quality sampling and monitoring protocols, as well as advice on upgrading and expanding water services. Technical training is designed for local water system operators, such as plumbers and operation and maintenance technicians. 2. Administration: Circuit Riders improve Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) governance, tariff setting and collection, basic accounting and bookkeeping, and accountability to users. Administrative training is designed for water board treasurers and other board members. 3. Community Education: there is a need to promote safe water handling and best hygiene and sanitation practices. Training is designed to build the capabilities of water board committee members to do WaSH promotion activities among water users. One of the most important factors for the long-term success of rural water systems is permanent technical support. EOS has found that more than 90% of water systems within the communities that we serve are fully operational. Our programs yield such results due to the community investment in our Circuit Rider model and training of water boards. All of these services improve the water for community members and align with SDG goal 6.1.

Clean water gives everyone the opportunity to prosper!Clean water gives everyone the opportunity to prosper!