Clean Water Team
Bringing clean water to Honduras
Over 60% of Hondurans have no access to clean water. To support healthy individuals and healthy communities, SELF is committed to developing projects for access to clean water, coupled with improved hygiene and sanitation practices and complementary reforestation programs. Our Clean Water Team partners with village water councils, municipalities and other local and international NGOs to bring sustainability to our projects. As with all of our projects with SELF, we are careful to comply with all local standards of the law, in the case of water, the Water Framework Law, or Marco Law, established in 2003, with policies defined by CONASA (National Water and Sanitation Council) and regulated by ERSAPS (Potable Water and Sanitation Regulatory Agency).
Water sources cannot remain clean and sustainable without development of reforestation initiatives to help combat erosion and the effects of climate change. Our green membership program actively involves village water councils with reforestation efforts in their own communities and empowers students with education regarding forestry and climate change.
In 2019, we completed our initial Mandala garden pilot project, a collaboration with ICF, the Honduran Forestry Conservation Institute. This project provided organic fruits and vegetables to the senior citizens of Wil Sueño, living near our office. Our goal is to replicate this sustainable farming pilot project in our other communities, in order to provide healthy produce and empower community members with valuable gardening skills.
Completed water projects
Our first water project was completed in February 2018 in the village of Nuevo Paraíso. The local village water council had been working to achieve a clean water project in this community for more than 40 years. In an alliance between SELF, the Nuevo Paraiso water council, and the local municipality, we were able to construct a 13,000 gallon water tank serving more than a thousand people in the village. In addition to the families living in the village, most of the beneficiaries are students of the local elementary and high schools.
Water projects in progress
In our first partnership with Rotary International, we are the executing partner of Global Grant #1982209 constructing water projects in 3 villages Pacayas, El Bosque and Villa Nueva, benefiting more than 800 Hondurans. This partnership with SELF includes more than 15 Rotary clubs in the United States and Honduras, 2 municipalities, SANAA (National Autonomous Water and Sewerage Service), as well as multiple partnering local and international NGOs
Clean water team methodology
Each project follows a predefined set of phases, designed to solidify alliances, execute properly, and ensure proper maintenance of projects after completion.
The initial stages of any SELF water project involve identifying an appropriate community partner. This is a complicated process called “pre-feasibility” which, using a community profile, investigates the viability of the village as an appropriate partner. All aspects of the village’s current water project are researched and detailed, including water quality testing, and then an appropriate new water project design and corresponding budget are crafted. Alliances are developed between the community, SELF, and other local and international organizations to provide funds and resources for the project; these partnerships with the community help ensure their water project is sustainable.
During the execution phase, many community meetings are held to collaborate and develop the plan. Village water councils are educated with initial topics including leadership, teamwork and gender equality. SELF helps the local water councils to formally legalize as registered water boards “Juntas Administradoras de Agua Potable or JAAP” within the municipality. All of these are important steps before construction, the next aspect of this phase, ever begins.
For any project to be sustainable, the plan has to include appropriate maintenance and follow-up. Routine follow-up water quality tests, collection of village water fees, as well as physical structural maintenance are all important aspects of this phase. The community and the village water council are the parties primarily responsible for maintenance of the water project, however the local municipality, as well as SELF, are important long-term alliances.
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