When you are born with water at home it is difficult to be aware that there is not a similar worldwide reality, but according to the latest data from the United Nations, 748 million people still do not have guaranteed access and other so many have received it this year for the first time e n their lives. So it happened in two of the 10 rural communities of the Nicaraguan municipality of Villanueva - the janissaries and El Zapote - where Alliance solidarity has installed water and sanitation systems powered by solar energy.
Griselda Ramírez, Member of the Committee of water of the janissaries, recalls how until a few months ago "we had to travel 4 km to the River to wash and collect water for consumption. We were on horseback or on foot. We went out at night, to three or four in the morning, to not walk in the Sun. I am a preschool teacher and had to wait for children to come from bathing in the pits or in the mountains. They always arrived late to class. "Today, with the water in houses, children very early are ready to come to school".
Women and water
The case of Griselda is not unique, as supply water to the family has always been a task exclusively of women. "We had to haul it away. The well was on a hill and down with the water container on the head was not easy, but only women were responsible for this task", says Doña Emilia Casco, now Treasurer of the service in the community of Santa Anita. His experience is very similar to the of Johana loop, El Zapote, that it has yet recorded the hours spent waiting: "half of the day we were there, so we could or do other chores. Sometimes we left at noon for two and returned home to the six or seven in the evening."
When drinking water systems arrived, drinking water and sanitation (CAPS) committees were created for their management and control. And women as Griselda found other obstacles to be able to form part of the Board of Directors. Because they are women is doubted their ability to lead a CAPS, responsibilities, or make decisions, what was a new challenge for the project: influencing the reduction of gender gaps, promoting equal access to technology and knowledge, as well as creating space shared participation and consultation at the municipal level.
Drinking water in Nicaragua is a key pillar, especially in the so-called 'dry corridor', where the fear of losing it. Each quarter, and community meetings are organized to address issues such as charging fees, accounts or faults...
The world water day is without a doubt a day of reflection for these ten rural communities in Villanueva since it invites us to reflect on the importance of receiving water quality and the need to take care of its water through reforestation, control sources of the burning or the monitoring of the levels of sanitation of water coming to the houses. There the water is woman's name.