Project #12985

SHI: Improving Water Quality in Rural Nicaragua

by Self-Help International


Diarrhea is the leading cause of malnutrition in children under five years old. Self-Help International is working with hundreds of farm families in Nicaragua to improve food security & alleviate malnutrition. However, poor water quality is compromising these efforts. Water-borne diseases can be life-threatening and regularly prevent parents from working and children from attending school. Affordable access to safe drinking water improves health for thousands of Nicaraguans, especially children.
total goal
monthly donors
years active


Training designed to improve quality of life for poor farm families in Nicaragua results in healthier bodies, minds and increased income. However, persistent illnesses such as diarrhea have caused setbacks in our objective to improve their health and nutrition. Closer investigation in four communities indicated that more than 6,000 residents were drinking contaminated water from wells and springs. Challenges include affordable systems to clean water and community members' acceptance/maintenance.


A simple, affordable and effective water chlorinator system alleviates illnesses caused from waterborne diseases. Made with PVC pipes, valves, screen filter, and inserted chlorine tablets, valves control water flow and the amount of chlorine disbursed. Ministry of Health employees and community water volunteers are trained and actively participate in the project. Community water volunteers learn how to install and maintain each system, and inform the community its benefits.

Long-Term Impact

Each water chlorinator system serves up to 1,000 depending upon water source. The cost to build each unit is $135. One chlorine tablet ($3) lasts 1-3 weeks, depending upon water pressure. Within three years, up to 10,000 people in four communities will receive cleaner water from twelve water chlorinator systems. Extensive training and follow-up by Self-Help staff secures proper maintenance. Residents learn about waterborne diseases and the benefits of quality drinking water.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


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Organization Information

Self-Help International

Location: Waverly, IA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Jori Wade Booth
Wavelry, IA Nicaragua