Access to Drinking Water
Nicaragua is a Central American country, which is among the poorest in Latin America. Forty-one percent of its population lives in rural areas, where poverty is concentrated and where access to basic drinking water and sanitation services remains a constant challenge for thousands of families.
Although Nicaragua is a country rich in surface and groundwater resources, 56% of the population living in rural areas do not have access to safe, quality water.
In order for a community to access a drinking water project, it must be organized and at least have identified potential water sources and made prior arrangements with the municipal mayor’s office or other donors.
Also, community members must be willing to participate in all phases of the project, but above all to make monetary, in-kind and labor contributions.
Stages of a Project
Feasibility and design study
Financing management and project approval
In order for our organization to manage funds and execute a drinking water project, it is necessary to have a project design that complies with the regulations and technical policies of our organization and the regulatory bodies.
During all these stages, we tried to ensure the strengthening of capacities and mainly of municipal and community structures, such as the Drinking Water and Sanitation Committees (CAPS), FECSA Promoters Group, Environmental Brigaders and Municipal Drinking Water and Sanitation Units (UMAS) personnel.
“A very special moment of the project is when the water first comes to the community. […] The children put their ears above the pipe and are the first to realize that the water is coming. They get excited and shout “The water is coming, the water is coming!”. […] When the water reaches the tank and comes out in quantity, everyone looks very happy and relieved, because they never thought it would be possible,” is how Gilles Corcos, co-founder of Agua Para La Vida, describes his experience.
Our Technical Specialty
The type of system to be built in each community will depend on the results of the feasibility studies. However, our organization is a specialist in gravity-fed drinking water systems in remote and vulnerable communities in the country. We have experience executing projects in geographically rugged terrain and over long distances, and have installed pipelines of up to 15 kilometers and distribution networks of up to 40 kilometers.
Water at your fingertips
All of our drinking water projects have domestic water points, built with reinforced concrete and steel pipes in order to guarantee quality and durability, as well as to provide security and comfort so that families can have access to the vital liquid from their homes.
Also, each water stand has a micro-metering system, which helps families to monitor the amount of water they are consuming and make a fair payment. This is very important because the proceeds are saved and can be used for maintenance and rehabilitacion of the water system.
A system designed for future generations
We design water projects and build local capacity in the communities so that they have a long-term useful life. Each water system should have at least 15 to 20 years of life, since an estimate of population growth is made.
However, the useful life of each system will depend on the beneficiaries, since they must be in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the infrastructure built. On the other hand, revenues from water tariffs must be reinvested according to the needs of each system.
We manage to bring drinking water regardless of the terrain conditions.
We have our own design software that adapts to the geographic conditions of rural communities in the country, which generally have a rugged geography. In some occasions we have to manage to cross the pipelines through rivers and streams, either subway or aerially.
At the beginning of 2022, we installed the longest aerial water pipeline crossing in the history of Agua Para La Vida Nicaragua, which is 230 meters long and was installed with the support of our technical team and community members.