In many cases, too many cases, dirty river water is being used as a substitute for safe drinking water. Residents in these communities visit a local stream or the Coco River – both representing water sources with high levels of bacterial contamination – and carry water back to their families with buckets. Water that is untreated, unclean, unsafe.
In other communities, existing water systems are in need of repair. Back-to-back hurricanes in 2020 wreaked havoc on the systems. Pipes are broken, valves are in need of replacement and repair, storage tanks are leaking, and infrastructure is deteriorating. Available water is untreated and contaminated. Communities lack the funds and the organization required to perform critical repairs.
Water system repairs and the installation of chlorinators will restore the flow of water to homes – water that is safe to drink.
Water Board capacity-building will be a critical component of bringing consistent access to clean water within reach. Residents are eager to receive training and to gain skills in water management to collectively plan ahead, successfully determine and collect user fees to sustain systems, and be better equipped to perform regular maintenance and repairs.
Communities with no water systems will be visited frequently by local Circuit Riders trained by EOS to build capacity for water management, to ensure that the local population understands the importance of chlorination, and to prepare an organized and active water committee for participation in infrastructure investments.
Change for Children partner organizations on this project are: EOS International and The Bishop Croteau Development Foundation.