SHI: Improving Water Quality in Rural Nicaragua

 
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World Water Day at Nicaragua Training Center
World Water Day at Nicaragua Training Center

Self-Help’s Clean Water Program led the CAPS in the rural communities in the celebration of the World Water Day on March 22, 2015 by promoting experience exchanges among communities currently using the CTI-8 technology and communities seeking to learn more. Self-Help hosted two grand celebrations in honor of World Water Day with the CAPS from Nueva Guinea and Rio San Juan.

 Nueva Guinea, March 24, 2015

World Water Day was met with great success in Nueva Guinea, RAAS, Nicaragua where we had the participation of 30 Community Clean Water Committee (CAPS) members, 71 people from different communities, local authorities including Mr. Francisco Miranda Villachica from the Mayor’s office (UMAS) and Dr. Fernando Canales Alemán from the Environmental Department, the Director of the Ministry of Health (SILAIS-MINSA) from Zelaya Central, and Mrs. Nicolasa Jarquín from Epidemiology from MINSA, TV and radio journalists, as well as Mr. Sergio Romero Alvarado, the CTI Nicaragua Country Director as well as Self-Help’s Country Director Mr. Jorge Campos Solís and Program Officer Orlando Montiel Salas.

We shared with people an educational video regarding the CTI maintenance, good use of the purified water, and the positive impact the CTI-8 Chlorinator is having in the communities already installed, as well as the challenges the organization and CAPS area are facing with regard to clean water all over Nicaragua. Among the topic discussed were: Importance of the Potable water, weather changes, Sanitation and Environment Health, microbiology and treatment of the water for human use, emphasizing on the use of CTI-8 chlorinator in the rural gravity aqueduct. Most of the CAPS members agreed that installing the CTI-8 Chlorinator would benefit their communities, and 10 of them immediately asked for an initial visit by the Self-Help Program Officer for Clean Water to explore the possibilities for installation starting as soon as in April 2015.

It is a great challenge for Self-Help to serve all of this southeastern side of the country, since it is over 200 kms distance from the main office at Quinta Lidia, and requires travel over unpaved dirt roads that are in bad shape. Nevertheless, our goal is to serve all the rural areas where the need for clean, safe drinkable water is great, for the good of the rural people who we know will be grateful to have such a beneficial opportunity.

World Water Day, Day 2, hosted at Self-Help’s Fred Strohbehn Training Center in Quinta Lidia, March 26, 2015

During this gathering, in attendance were 10 CAPS and 17 participants from the communities of El Castillo, San Carlos and Morrito, a technician from San Carlos Mayor office (UMAS) Mr. Uriel Camacho Obando, Mr. Francisco Ochomogo Pilarte from ENACAL (water company) from Río San Juan, Dr. Flavio Rodríguez from Epidemiology MINSA and technician from Fundación del Río (River Foundation) and ASODELCO which are NGO’s that works in benefits of the water. During this event, we also had the participation of Mr. Sergio Romero Alvarado Nicaragua Country Director from partner organization CTI, who spoke on the topic of Environmental Health and Sanitation, as well as the history of CTI-8 water chlorinator. Self-Help’s Country Director Mr. Jorge Campos Solís shared how important is to have organized the CAPS in Río San Juan, and the Program Officer Mr. Orlando Montiel Salas shared how to manage the water treatment with the CTI-8 technology.

At the end of the two days of World Water Day conferences, we felt satisfied to know that more people from both Rio San Juan and Nueva Guinea had the opportunity to learn more about the new CTI-8 technology, and are welcoming the Program Officer for Clean Water, to study the area, help the communities determine the need for potable water, and assist with installation of the chlorinator for their communities benefit. As expected, April proved to be a busy month as most of the CAPS from Nueva Guinea requested to learn more about the CTI-8 prior to the installation.

In March we also installed one CTI-8 chlorinator at Empalme Los Sánchez, San Miguelito – Rio San Juan.

In this community, the water fills the tank by gravity. The community used to have problem with accessing good quality water, and they used to rely on just one well which didn’t provide either enough water or the appropriate hygienic conditions for the people to drink. The women had to walk long distance to bring water for their families’ member to drink, wash dishes and do laundry. So the San Miguelito Mayor’s office installed a new water tank with a CTI-8 chlorination system.

Now, people are really thankful because they are getting potable water and most important clean water by using the CTI-8 Chlorinator, ensuring the water is safe for human consumption. This new installation is benefitting over 200 people, including 35 families in 30 homes, and preventing waterborne diseases and parasites. Please below see the photos of the installation of the chlorinator as well as the chart on detail with the system and it benefit.

Your donation has made it possible for Self-Help to educate rural villages on the benefits of clean water and help them to provide water that is safe for human consumption. Thank you for your support!

World Water Day in Nueva Guinea
World Water Day in Nueva Guinea
CTI installation in El Empalme Los Sanchez
CTI installation in El Empalme Los Sanchez

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Chlorinator installation in Los Pintos
Chlorinator installation in Los Pintos

Impact of the Clean Water Program in the Nueva Guinea municipal, Autonomous Region of the South Atlantic – RAAS – Nicaragua

In December 2014, Self-Help International held a public exposition of the Clean Water Program, as well as a technical presentation of the CTI8 chlorinator for community leaders of the CAPS (Committee of Clean and Portable Water) in the Nueva Guinea municipal. There were 40 communities represented by CAPS leaders, more than seven technicians from the Water and Sanitation Mayor Office of Nueva Guinea (UMAS) and three consultants from the Social and Emergency Investment Fund of the Nicaraguan government (FISE), which dedicates itself to the construction of water systems and out houses in rural communities.

The activity was a success, as it explained to CAPS leaders the strategies, steps and goals of the Clean Water Program of Self-Help International, proposed to be completed in the year 2015. This includes the four major principal themes: “Justified aspects of the N°722 Law, organization, constitution, legalization and functioning of CAPS”, “Administration, operation and maintenance of rural aqueducts”, “Methodology and calculation of the water and rural aqueducts tariff,” and “the determination of residual bleach and bacterial analysis in the rural population’s water systems. "

In January 2015, after the December meeting, approximately 840 km in community visits focused on the water systems, multiple contacts with CAPS members and community assemblies; the rural population and the CAPS leaders of the Nueva Guinea communities confirmed and approved the installation of the CTI8 manual chlorinators.

Orlando Montiel Salas, Self-Help International’s Clean Water Program official, visited the Los Laureles, San Pablo, Jacinto Baca, Talolinga and the Pintos of Nueva Guinea communities to meet with CAPS leaders, as well as with the general population, to explain the importance of supporting the treatment of crude water that the people drink, to familiarize the people with rural aqueducts and to study how the chlorinators would be installed.

Orlando successfully installed three chlorinators (CTI8s) in the Los Pintos and Talolinga communities, providing a clean water supply to 420 houses, disinfecting 71.16 cubic meters of water each day and benefitting 3,120 people. In these communities the water arrives directly from stone wells and water pumps. There is no form of treatment, leaving the population to consume crude water.

Impact of the Clean Water Program (CTI8) in El Castillo, Empresa PALCASA

In January 2015, Self-Help’s Clean Water Program also enabled the installation of the CTI8 in the offices of the company PALCASA in El Castillo, Rio San Juan. This CTI8 chlorinator was installed around a plastic tank holding 1.85 cubic meters of water, which allowed for the adequate treatment of water provided from the nearby river. This benefits 6 housing communities and offices, where 150 people work each day. Self-Help representatives visited the company three times since December 2013 taking the owners of the company over a year to approve the installation of the CTI8 to provide clean water to workers.

Your support has provided these communities with the knowledge and training to improve the quality of water therefore improving the quality of life. Thank you for your generous donation.

Technical presentation to leaders of Nueva Guinea
Technical presentation to leaders of Nueva Guinea
CAPS leaders of Los Pintos
CAPS leaders of Los Pintos
Community assemply in Talolinga
Community assemply in Talolinga

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Chlorinator installation at Isla Grande
Chlorinator installation at Isla Grande

Christian is in charge of the hygienic and security department for the orange company FRUTAN. He recently contacted Self-Help International (SHI) to obtain information about installing CTI-8 water chlorinators at several of FRUTAN’s orange farms.

Self-Help International staff asked Mr. Gonzalez how he had heard about this program and he answered that he was from northern Nicaragua where there are also CTI-8 water chlorinators installed. He also said his former employer installed the chlorinators and he considers them one of the best as CTI-8 chlorinators are easy to acquire and manage.

When Christian came to work in southeast Nicaragua he found out that the water FRUTAN employees were drinking was untreated. He asked the general manager about the poor water quality and the manager said he didn’t have any idea where to get the proper treatment for the water or where to go since their location is so far away from the city. Christian told the manager about Self-Help International and the CTI-8 water chlorinators. He explained to his manager the benefits of clean water to FRUTAN and its employees including the technical training provided to manage the equipment.

Not long after, Self-Help staff met with Christian to discuss the clean water program and its mission. With the help of SHI, FRUTAN made the plan to install water chlorinators at seven different locations. By the end of November, six of the seven chlorinators will have been installed bringing clean water to more than 1,500 more beneficiaries. Chlorinator locations include Lote, Melchora, Garita, Palo de Arco, and two in Isla Grande.

It is important that we work together to help provide clean water to the people of Nicaragua. Your generous donation has contributed to the installation of 40 total chlorinators providing clean water for more than 33,000 people. In addition, your support allows companies that care about their employees, like FRUTAN, to collaborate with Self-Help and ensure its employees have clean drinking water.

Chlorinator installation in Lote
Chlorinator installation in Lote
Chlorinator installation at Melchor
Chlorinator installation at Melchor
Installation at San Pancho
Installation at San Pancho

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Brochures distributed to promote water program
Brochures distributed to promote water program

In the last four months, Self-Help International (SHI) staff have visited 45 communities all from the Río San Juan area to promote and present information on CTI-8 chlorinator installation, maintenance and the benefits of clean water.

In an effort to share information, SHI staff members are distributing informational brochures to people in the communities they visit. The brochures provide technical information on the systems as well as testimony from beneficiaries in communities where chlorinators are already in use. Brochures from the Nicaragua Ministry of Health are also being distributed. These brochures describe illnesses that come from drinking contaminated, untreated water.

During recent visits, staff has provided 195 chlorinator tablets to community water committees to be used in the chlorinator systems. Three new chlorinators were installed, one each in the communities of El Tule municipality of San Miguelito, Las Bellezas a municipality of Morrito, and Papaturro municipality of San Carlos. These newly installed systems will provide clean water to 1,785 people.

Including new installations, Self-Help’s clean water program now benefits 30,063 people. That’s is an increase in 1,785 people since April 2014. Beneficiaries of the clean water program tell Self-Help staff that they are happy to have safe water to drink. They also said they are no longer concerned about illnesses and parasites that come with drinking raw water.

Your support has provided these communities with the knowledge and training to improve the quality of water therefore improving the quality of life. Thank you for your generous donation.

Las Bellezas water committee receives training
Las Bellezas water committee receives training
Chlorinator installation in Papaturro
Chlorinator installation in Papaturro

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CAPS leader Marcial Arce from Los Chiles
CAPS leader Marcial Arce from Los Chiles

In this first quarter of the year, Self-Help International has been conducting visits to each community where we have chlorinators installed with the purpose of providing technical support, advising, and assistance in order to keep the CT-8 chlorinators operating effectively and efficiently. Self-Help staff also went to several communities where no chlorinators, or any other type of water treatment, were yet installed to promote the CTI-8 chlorinators by means of technical presentation, chlorinator display, and discussions explaining the benefits of this technology.

During this time, Self-Help installed five new CTI-8 chlorinators in the following municipalities: Morrito, San Miguelito, San Carlos and El Castillo. Staff also distributed 260 chlorinator tablets to all of the communities that benefit from this program. Up until today we have installed 27 CTI-8 chlorinators and provided clean water to 28,278 people, preventing several kinds of preventable illnesses like diarrhea.  

In the communities where we have CTI-8 chlorinators installed, the people have shared with Self-Help International that they are really happy and thankful for the organization and its staff for providing the opportunity to improve water quality. Now they feel more confident when they drink the treated water. Also because SHI provides advising on how to avoid illnesses by taking actions such as using the chlorinated water to wash their hands after using the facilities, wash their hands before each time of meal, wash the dishes, wash the vagetables and fruits before using them and eating to prevent diahrrea, parasites, and renal infections. People in the community have said that their children look much healthier now that have access to clean water, rather than the raw water that comes from other water systems. They have noticed that the children don’t have diarrhea as often as before, so this program is having a great impact on the entire community.  

In January SHI also got the results of the water analysis the was done last year at the beginning of December. In the featured photos, you will see some of the CAPS members, MINSA (Health Department), and other leaders from each community that came to the Fred Strohbehn Training Center to learn about the status of the quality of their drinking water.

Self-Help staff is also planning to meet with the mayor from San Miguelito to discuss outreach. With her guidance SHI can reach more communities and people that are still thinking about getting the CTI-8 technology for their use. It may take some time for us to do so but our next goal is to work along with the mayor of each municipality, as some CAPS don’t have the technology due to the lack of money. If they get monetary support from their mayors, it may be easier for them to convince themselves that the program is good for them. So far some of them are questioning it, as they don’t want to pay for something that may not be good for them.

Your support has provided these communities with an opportunity to take ownership over their town's water quality and impove the health of their families and neighbors. Thank you for your generous donation.

Training and presentations at training center
Training and presentations at training center
CAPS members from Cruz Verde
CAPS members from Cruz Verde
Hygentist Carlos learning about new technology
Hygentist Carlos learning about new technology

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Project Leader

Jori Wade Booth

Wavelry, IA Nicaragua

Where is this project located?

Map of SHI: Improving Water Quality in Rural Nicaragua