Due to lack of proper infrastructure for water and waste disposal, along with deforestation, use of pesticides and other environmental destruction, water contamination is a major public health issue in the Cangrejal Valley. The purpose of the Water & Sanitation project is to transform the health and quality of life of the Cangrejal Valley residents through more efficient and drinkable potable water systems that are planned and managed by the local people coupled with increased environmental quality and preservation, low-impact appropriate infrastructural designs, community education and critical consciousness. This regional effort focuses on building the capacity of local water boards to understand and plan for a truly effective system that is not just about a “new water system” but a holistic approach that encompasses the interconnection of clean water, sanitation and hygiene for a healthier community. El Pital was selected as the pilot community for initial implementation of this holistic approach.
1. El Pital Pilot Project (2015-2018)
The local community of El Pital, under the supervision of a locally formed Water Board, is designing a pilot project to build an energy-efficient clean water system that will provide treated and filtered water to homes and be replicated in the entire region. This project will not only significantly improve health for residents in the Cangrejal Valley, it will also provide local employment, environmental restoration, and education for local residents on matters of clean water, hygiene, sanitation, ensuring sustainability with their efforts.
2. Capacity Building and Technical Assistance for Local Water Boards (2015-2020)
Since the launching of the pilot in El Pital, other communities expressed interest in a similar program for their communities. Un Mundo will work with individual water boards to assess their current situation, assets and needs and then develop capacity building efforts where needed.
3. Regional Environment and Water Commission (2016-2020)
Un Mundo plans to connect all the water boards to form a regional network to work on water and environmental issues together. The network would create a regional commission that meets quarterly to discuss common issues and develop a region-wide strategy.
4. Replicate Pilot Project in Other Communities (2016-2020)
After successfully implementing the pilot project in El Pital, Un Mundo plans to help neighboring communities implement similar water systems. This will be based on the capacity building with the local water boards and the regional strategies adopted.