Latin American development bank CAF and PAHO sign water and sanitation agreement
CAF – Latin American development bank – and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) have agreed to expand their cooperation on access to water, sanitation and health in the region. The agreement, signed on April 1st, 2011, was an amendment to an earlier Framework Agreement on Technical Cooperation signed on January 3rd, 2011.
CAF has been active in the sector for over 20 years and in the last five years it has approved about US$ 1.80 billion for the water sector. Most recently CAF approved US$ 12 million for water and sanitation projects in five districts of Bolivian city El Alto in La Paz department.
The CAF president Enrique García said:
«the importance of this signing is that we are joining forces with the world’s oldest public health organization which is actively working in the region. The resulting synergy will strengthen the mechanisms required for disease prevention.»
Related web sites:
- CAF – Integrated Water Program
- PAHO – Water and Sanitation | Drinking Water
Source: CAF, 05 Apr 2011 ; BNamericas.com [subscription site], 13 Apr 2011 ; PAHO [in Spanish], 02 Apr 2011
Bolivia, Santa Cruz: mayor «re-municipalises» town water supply in San Miguel de Velasco
The mayor of San Miguel de Velasco in Santa Cruz department, Pedro Damián Dorado, has proposed to “re-municipalise” the town’s water supply, due to poor management and quality of the service.
The mayor expressed anger at the current water operator (Cosesmi Ltd) and the Civic Committee for a recent water cut that lasted three days.
According to media reports, the Civic Committee carried out the cut intentionally because social and indigenous organizations in San Miguel de Velasco refused to attend a Committee meeting.
On 29 September 2010 there were street protests because the water being supplied by Cosemi was said to be contaminated. According to a report by the Department of Health Services, the water in San Miguel de Velasco is unfit for human consumption.
Source: Los Tiempos [in Spanish], 11 Nov 2010 ; El Deber [in Spanish]
Bolivia, Chile: authorities closer to initial agreement regarding Silala waters
Bolivia and Chile are close to drawing up an initial agreement regarding the use of the Silala waters, following a meeting in Chilean capital Santiago on April 3 . Authorities agreed that Chile should compensate Bolivia for the water used, and that the resources should be divided equally between the two nations, local press reported. […] The group will meet again in Bolivia, in May, to continue talks.
The initial agreement will require Chile to pay for 50% of the Silala resources. [T]he costs would be covered by state copper company Codelco and Chilean investment group Luksic’s rail company, Ferrocarril Andino, which connects Chilean city Antofagasta and Bolivia, as these are the two firms that most benefit from the Silala waters.
Meanwhile, Bolivia’s foreign relations minister David Choquehuanca has spoken about a fee of US$17,000/d, which would total about US$6mn/y.
Compensation for the water is a major policy change for Chile, as the country has steadfastly refused to pay for the resources, claiming they are part of an international river. At the same time, [..] Bolivian department Potosí’s Quijarro province […] is opposed to Chile using any of the water.
Source: BNamericas [subscription site], 06 Apr 2009
Bolivia: Spain approves US$80mn grant for water, sanitation projects
The Spanish government has approved a US$80mn donation to Bolivia’s environment and water ministry for potable water and sewerage projects [and the construction of water intake systems], Bolivian government news agency ABI reported. [The package is part of a water and sanitation development plan that requires US$500mn].
[An earlier report] in local paper El Informador reported that Bolivian authorities [sought] financial support in Spain to cover the cost of a series of water projects [worth] US$ 150mn. Germany, Canada and Sweden [had] already offered their support to carry them out. [Spain has denied an announcement made by President Evo Morales of Bolivia, that it would give some 700mn euros out of of the 1.5bn-euro Spanish water fund to support projects in the country].
Source: BNamericas [subscription site], 19 Mar 2009 ; BNamericas, 02 Mar 2009 ; BNamericas, 12 Mar 2009
Latin America: transboundary water issues – conflict and collaboration
Chilean and Peruvian foreign relations authorities will discuss [in March 2009] a project in Peru’s Tacna province and its effect on water resources in northern Chile. […] Peruvian mining firm Minsur is currently working on the Peruvian side of the Azufre river basin, and the Azufre river becomes a tributary of the Lluta river on the Chilean side of the border.
The mining company plans to extract 30l/s of water as part of its gold and silver mining operations. The project could have a permanent effect on the river basin, used to irrigate some 2,700ha in region XV, Chilean public works ministry’s (MOP) general water authority DGA officials claim.
[…] Chilean civilian groups have contacted local authorities, claiming the use of aquifers in Peru has affected water availability in the region. Peru’s industrial and water activities have also been questioned by Bolivian authorities, as other initiatives have affected the amount and quality of water resources in that country.
Source: Eva Medalla, BNamericas [subscription site], 03 Mar 2009
Mexico and Guatemala are considering establishing a bilateral treaty to address issues related to shared international water resources for human consumption and domestic use, Mexican paper El Informador reported.
Mexican foreign affairs ministry SRE said both parties agreed on supplying water to their respective border communities to guarantee each country’s self-sufficiency . […] Mexico [also] announced it [expects to finish] building [drinking water supply] systems [for] local communities that are currently served by waters originating in Guatemalan territory […] by May .
Source: BNamericas [subscription site], 05 Mar 2009