Water and Sanitation Programs Help Hondurans Take Ownership

Twelve-year-old Isidoro Alvarado said, "We feel happy because the thing we need the most is water. Everyone worked together to complete the project and now that we have water, already it is a different environment. We are content and grateful."

The once heavily forested Departments of Western Honduras suffer from severe deforestation. This has led to extreme depletion of the local water tables. Women and children walk far distances to try to meet their family’s water needs. They can spend up to six hours each day collecting water and carrying it home in jugs on their heads. Most people work as subsistence farmers, growing only enough food to feed their family.

Water.org and one of its local partners, COCEPRADIL, worked with the community of Cholunquez to help them obtain much-needed access to safe water and sanitation. The water access component was accomplished through a gravity-fed system, with individual households connected directly off of the main pipeline. Community members helped build the system by digging trenches for pipes, laying the pipes, and building the individual “pila”, or sink, for their own household.

To achieve the sanitation component of the project, Water.org and COCEPRADIL provided training sessions for families about how to improve the sanitation situation in their household. These sessions covered topics such as burying trash, hand washing, the safe handling of water, and keeping chickens and livestock out of the house – usually by building fences around the houses.

Twelve-year-old Isidoro Alvarado shares what life is like with the new, clean water point in her home:

How do you feel now that you have water in your home? We feel happy because the thing we need the most is water. Everyone worked together to complete the project and now that we have water, already it is a different environment. We are content and grateful.

What is the sanitation situation today in your house and community? Today we see a different environment. Before, each family lived with the dogs, chickens and pigs. Now we have separated them and everything looks better. Our houses are well-enclosed from the outside and well-swept. We have homes that are neat.

How is the project being maintained? Right now it is functioning very well. If there is any damage, all the communities will work together to support the work to fix it.

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