In addition to the awesome task of providing potable water systems and clean water to over 140,000 people to date, this project fosters a holistic vision of environmental protection and preservation, promotes access to water as a human right, and was awarded the UN Equator Prize for advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.
In Nicaragua’s northwest region, there is a severe lack of access to safe, clean drinking water. People often rely on rivers that frequently slow to a trickle (or dry out entirely) or on old and contaminated well sites. Lack of access to potable water is not only extremely detrimental to health – especially that of children – it also impedes economic and social development. Women and children spend a considerable portion of each day seeking water, which takes time away from other important activities such as school, work, and time with family.
Access to clean drinking water improves the quality of health of men, women and children. The prevalence of diseases contracted by water contamination, including diarrhea and illnesses, is reduced dramatically, which allows children to attend school and receive an education. Communities gain leadership and organizational experience by being engaged in the process of planning and building the water systems and are empowered to form Water Management Committees in which men and women are responsible for the well-being and maintenance of water in their respective communities.
Since 2002, Change for Children has provided potable water systems for drought-stricken communities in northern Nicaragua.
In the current phase of the project (2022), we have partnered with EOS International (an organization working to implement water projects in Central America) in support of expanding their Circuit Rider program westward into the areas and communities where Change for Children works. Circuit Riders—trained water systems technicians—cover many miles on motorcycles to work with Community Water Committees in many capacities including helping them achieve legal status, providing training in water management, and providing ongoing support of maintenance activities and chlorination testing. Circuit Riders cooperate with communities to ensure that clean potable water continues to flow in remote communities.