Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the hemisphere, has thousands of rural families living without the potable water essential for survival.Water insecurity, the constantly looming threat of not having enough water for your family, greatly contributes to the perpetuation of the inescapable cyclical poverty.Without access to a source of clean drinking water, entire communities face life-and-death situations each day and are forced to either leave or find expensive water from outside sources.
The Problem’s Effects
Parents constantly seeking reliable sources of clean water become further removed from their family’s other pressing needs (including but not limited to food, clothing, health care, and education).Without local potable water sources, everyone is susceptible to waterborne diseases originating from unsanitary water distribution methods or contaminated wells, as well as health issues arising from an inability to bathe and maintain cleanliness.A lack of clean water, especially in the developing world, is an indicator of growing future poverty as families remain uncertain about the cornerstone that provides life.
The Proposed Resolution
FNE works collaboratively with struggling rural and isolated communities to address their specific water needs.Families that once only had access to contaminated sources of water or restricted access are able to join together with fellow community members in a mutually beneficial project to advance the community toward higher needs like employment and human innovation.Recipients of the Semillas de Esperanza project new water project are offered hope for water as they seek equal access to the resource they pay fairly for.The 35 families currently participating are at the end of the Chacraseca water system and face a reality of access limited to a few hours per week. Luckily they already have a well drilled, and through this project are ready to be connected to the main water line.
The Expected Positive Outcome
In addition to the short-term outcome of immediate water for drinking, cooking, and bathing, family members can focus concerns on other issues like better education and employment opportunities because of the assurance of resource access.Participating in a grassroots project like this gives community members a sense of ownership and a stake in its construction and maintenance, offering a dignity and community pride previously unknown to homeless families.The project shows enormous appeal and potential as the number of participating families is climbing from 35 to 70 and they are cooperatively organizing together and seeking fair access to water.Public health benefits from clean water conditions will lead to longer and healthier lives especially for villages sharing restrictive water sources that won’t be producing at maximum levels forever.
How FNE’s Micro and Macro-Actions to Provide Infrastructure Ensures Sustainability
Rather than paying to have water driven in by a truck, the $6 currently paid by each family and additional money being pooled by community leaders will fully fund all the water and maintenance necessary to operate the project.The system being introduced including the well and mechanism to connect it to the Chacrasecan water supply are both locally sourced systems that are not distant or unfamiliar to those operating them. Designing and building a self-sufficient system to bring water into a community is sustainable in itself by not providing a hand out and instead providing the opportunity for impoverished rural Nicaraguans to help themselves.