The Magdalena river basin is home to 49% of the Colombian population and receives the direct wastewater discharge from 128 municipalities. This project seeks to consolidate the Citizen Observatory of Water Quality in Barranquilla by monitoring critical points of the Magdalena river, training representatives of grassroots organizations and fishers' groups in water quality monitoring complemented with public participation mechanisms. This project aims to replicate these actions across the country.
Government and environmental authorities have been ignoring the right to safe drinking water and a healthy environment to the aquatic life by granting licenses for industrial projects which ends up polluting the water resource and displacing people from their land. The most affected population is within the vulnerable communities that ignore their rights to clean water access, don't have the skills to demand accountability, and don't count with reliable scientific data to support their claims.
The Citizen Monitoring of Water Quality will train the grassroots organizations and fishers' groups to monitor the water quality to establish the local communities' damage and the impact on the aquatic biodiversity. These results, together with the public participation mechanisms plus the legal and environmental knowledge provided during the workshops, will strengthen the grassroots organization's capacity to protect the water resources and their right to quality of life.
By starting with the training of 50 representatives from between grassroots organizations and fishers' groups, we expect to convert each of the assistants into a potential trainer to spread the knowledge and share the learned skills within their communities.