Spain Providing $164 Million for Safe Drinking Water Projects in Latin America
Seven Latin American countries will benefit from contributions approved on the 15th of October by the Spanish government amounting to 117.2 million Euros ($164 million) for projects providing safe drinking water and improving aqueducts and sanitation.
The contributions are intended for projects in Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the Dominican Republic and will be managed by the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund of Spain’s AECID international development agency. There will also be a complementary contribution of 12.9 million Euros ($18 million) to finance new projects to be carried out in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank.
About 120 million people lack access systems for potable water and basic health services in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to figures released earlier this year at the 2nd Latin American Sanitation Conference.
Related news: Guatemala: US$ 100 million from Spain and the IDB to improve water and sanitation services, Source News, 21 January 2010.
EFE Source : Herald Tribune, 18 October 2010.
Guatemala: Global Water and Peace Corps collaborate in Healthy Schools program
Having developed many water systems in Guatemala, Global Water saw an opportunity to assist the Peace Corps volunteers who were trying their best to educate schoolchildren about proper hygiene but without the tools to do so.
In a rural school adjacent to a small village in Guatemala, a Peace Corps volunteer stood before a group of schoolchildren. Holding her hands out in front of her, she rubbed them together, mimicking the motions of lathering soap, then extended them back under the imaginary spigot. The lesson was on hand-washing and was part of the Peace Corp volunteer’s assignment to teach health and hygiene to the rural poor. The «Healthy Schools Program«, as it has become known in Guatemala, is supported by the Appropriate Technology Program of the Peace Corps. There was one vital ingredient conspicuously missing from the lesson however. «Water»
Having developed many water systems in Guatemala, [NGO] Global Water saw an opportunity to assist the Peace Corps volunteers who were trying their best to educate schoolchildren about proper hygiene but without the tools to do so. […] Global Water had successfully partnered with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on previous projects in Guatemala to build village water supplies and sanitation facilities. In these projects, Global Water provided the funding and water treatment expertise, while the NGO’s provided the construction expertise and local supervision necessary to build the water systems. Now the Peace Corps would add other key components to this partnership to make school facilities a reality – their day-to-day involvement with the community which was needed to gain permission to work at schools, as well as the teaching acumen to create a hygiene education program. Finally, the communities themselves had to contribute to the project, by providing manual labor to support the building of the water facilities.
[…] Through the Healthy Schools projects in Guatemala, rural schools in need receive water systems, latrines, kitchen stoves and hand washing stations [«lavamanos»]. Global Water’s funding helps provide these systems […].
Once these facilities are installed, the schools participating in the Healthy Schools program are required to implement an educational program to teach students how and why to use the new hygiene facilities. This education program is usually created by the Peace Corps volunteer who helped build the facilities at the school. Once this program is in place, the school is inspected by the Minister of Health, and can be recognized as a «Healthy School» by the Guatemalan government.
Read Global Water’s Healthy Schools Progress Reports:
- Final Report Handwashing station at Pakawex .pdf
- Final Report Tank Lavamanos Project .pdf
- Pacorral Final Report .pdf
- Pacorral Pictures .word doc
Source: PR.com, 10 Apr 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