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Past Work: Nicaragua

Background

Water and sanitation coverage is very low in all the intervention communities. In the RAAN, access to safe water is as low as 18% in some areas and sanitation coverage is only marginally better at 20%. A total of 6,000 rural Nicaraguans are expected to benefit from WASH improvements over the program period in the communities of Sangni Laya, Panua, Auhya Pihni, Auhya Tara, Miguel Bikan, Tasba Pain, Esperanza Wawa, Ti Kiamp, San Pablo, Truhlaya, San Miguel y Nazareth.

Program Plan

A total of 30 shallow wells with manual hand pumps will be either newly constructed or rehabilitated. On average, 100 people will be served by each well. An additional sixty households will be provided with rainwater harvesting tanks with a storage capacity of 4,000 liters each. A total of 3,300 people will gain improved access to safe water. For those accessing shallow wells, approximately 25 lpcd will be provided – a basic level of service as defined by the standards of the program. For households utilizing rainwater harvesting tanks, a minimum of 25 lcpd will be provided during the dry season compared to 60 lpcd in the rainy season. To ensure long-term sustainability of the water systems, a water committee for each of the 10 CRS schemes will be elected from among the community and extensively trained to manage the systems both financially and operationally. WaterAid will build the institutional capacity of community water and sanitation committees to effectively deliver services by forming Community Water and Sanitation User Committees (CAPS) in each of the 6 intervention communities. WaterAid will also train water point user committees for each of the 30 wells implemented under the program – each water point user committee will report to and be supported by their respective CAP. Because the prevailing CAPS structure used to manage community water supplies in Nicaragua contradicts existing indigenous community governance structures, WaterAid will work with existing governments to ensure the appropriate integration of the CAPS within the target communities. All MWA implementing partners collaborate closely with municipal and local government as well as representatives of the ministries of health, education, and environment if appropriate. In addition to these stakeholders, WaterAid will implement its activities with the assistance of Pana Pana, a local NGO based in Bilwi. Established in late 1990, Pana Pana’s mission is to improve the quality of life of people living in the RAAN. Currently, the organization supports projects in 44 marginalized communities and is actively involved in regional development and microfinance activities. Within the MAP-LAP, Akvo FLOW will be used to collect the baseline and monitoring and evaluation data for the program by means of household, community water board, water point, and water quality surveys.

Goals

Ill-health associated with deficits in water and sanitation undermines productivity and economic growth, and contributes to a cycle of poverty. The overall goal of this Program is to contribute to improvements in health and livelihoods in rural Latin America through increased access to safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene.

Through an integrated, community-based approach, the program focuses on eradicating water poverty, minimizing environmental degradation of water resources, and creating a healthier living environment.

Sustainability

Keeping water flowing in poor, rural, and marginalized areas after WASH investments are made has proven to be among the most difficult development challenges for NGOs and donors. Sustainability is defined by MWA and its partners as access to a continuous supply of safe water over time, the practice of financial accountability and transparency by all water management committees, the setting, adjusting and collecting of tariffs appropriate to provide a professional service and fund the maintenance, repair and replacement WASH infrastructure over its life-cycle. It is with these guiding principles that MWA implements hardware activities and builds the self-sufficiency of local communities, local governments and other stakeholders. MWA and many of its members have been deeply involved in an external collaborative process to develop and endorse a sustainability charter to align WASH stakeholders around a set of common sustainability principles, catalyze adoption of these principles worldwide, and provide a framework to facilitate ongoing learning. This charter, which reflects the sustainability principles MWA programs follow, is available at www.washcharter.org.