The Beauty Of Community Ownership: A New Water System

Maria’s family was very involved in the construction of the new water system and household latrines. Guatincara’s water project is a gravity flow water system that delivers water from a mountain spring to all the participating homes in the community. "We are happy because the water is abundant.”

Maria Delsa Sanchez is a proud mother of six and the first treasurer of the newly elected water committee in the rural Honduran community of Guatincara. Maria and four other community members were all sworn in just months ago to serve as the water committee for their community’s new water system.

The water committee’s activities include organizing weekly maintenance of the system by community members, treatment of the water, and collection of a monthly fee from each household. As treasurer, Maria’s responsibilities include collecting a fee from households each month and keeping track of funds received. The funds collected will be used to pay for operation and maintenance of the community’s water system. This helps ensure that the community will be able to sustain their system for years to come.

Maria’s family was very involved in the construction of the new water system and household latrines. Guatincara’s water project is a gravity flow water system that delivers water from a mountain spring to all the participating homes in the community. The water system includes over nine miles of pipe all laid and buried by hand by the community. Maria’s husband and sons were very involved in this construction, putting in many long, hard days of work. Maria also helped to cook food for the construction teams.

Maria is very grateful for the clean water and new latrine. She said, “Now our entire family is clean and there is enough water. Now we have a new life because the water is treated.” She is glad to have enough water for all her household needs: “Now I use the water to clean the house, to bathe my family, to drink. We are happy because the water is abundant.”

Capital: Tegucigalpa
Population of 8.4 million
758,000 lack access to safe water
1.4 million lack access to improved sanitation
29% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day
Honduras