In resource-scarce Comitancillo, Guatemala, making careful use of every piece of land, every resource, every kernel, every drop of water, is second-nature. Although many communities have water systems that pipe water to each household, the water source (typically a mountain stream susceptible to seasonal scarcity) is simply not enough to meet community needs year-round. When the six-month dry season withers the water supply, oft-contaminated rivers and hand-dug wells stand-in as unsafe substitutes. And the impacts can be devastating. In Guatemala, acute diarrheal disease continues to be one of the main causes of illness and premature death, especially in children under five years of age.
Change for Children is initiating work with vulnerable families with limited resources to implement the practice of rainwater collection as a low-cost, simple solution to address water scarcity. A collection of rooftop gutters and pipes contributed by participating families channels the rainy season downpours into a storage tank for use when community water is limited. The water storage tanks make water – a valuable resource – available for families and members of the Women of New Hope women’s co-operative for more months of the year.
Change for Children partner organizations on this project are: Asociación Maya-Mam de Investigación y Desarrollo (AMMID) and The Bishop Croteau Development Foundation.