Latin America is the region with the most annual rainfall in the world. However, access to freshwater and adequate sanitation is a prevalent challenge for many. With an income distribution among the most inequitable in the world, access to water is significantly skewed. As is usually the case, poor people experience difficulty accessing clean water, pay more for water, and spend more time and effort collecting it.1
Approximately 20% (over 25 million) of the rural population in Latin America has no access to improved drinking water sources; 45% (over 56 million) can’t access improved sanitation; and 20% (over 25 million) still defecate in the open. Of the urban population, close to 18 million have no access to improved drinking water sources and over 66 million can’t access improved sanitation.2
Located in Central America, Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, and to the southeast by Nicaragua; it has an area of 112,492 km² and a population of over eight million. The country produces minerals, coffee, tropical fruit, sugar cane and recently exports clothing.
Honduras is the sixth poorest/least developed country in Latin America, after Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Guyana, and Bolivia, and the second poorest in Central America. Approximately 50% of the population (3.7 million people) is below the poverty line and unemployment is estimated at 1.2 million people with a rate of ~27.9%. Its population is 90% mestizo: mixed Amerindian and European.
In 1998 the country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch, killing 5,600 people, causing approximately $2 billion in damage, and leaving over 75% of the population without clean water.
Water supply and sanitation in the rural areas can be very deficient, either because they are non-existent or because of the lack of proper maintenance and treatment. In 2003 a new law was passed for the decentralization of water services, giving communities the right and responsibility to own, operate and control their own drinking and wastewater systems; this has enabled many communities to work together and address water and sanitation issues.
Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent with 1.1 billion people as of 20131 and is the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent, with countries ranking at the bottom of the Human Development Index, according to the United Nations’ Human Development report for 2013.2
A large proportion of the African population lives in poverty, are illiterate, and don’t have sufficient access to food, clean water, and sanitation.3 300 million people in Africa live in water stressed environments with Sub-Saharan Africa having the largest number of water-stressed countries of any other place on the planet.4
African women have the largest burden in collecting, managing, and guarding water and can spend around sixty percent of the day in collection activities, with the result being a decrease in available time for education and other productive activities.5 On average, African Women will carry a jerrycan with water that, when full, can weigh over 40 pounds and will do so for about six kilometers every day. This disproportional burden negatively impacts women education, which also reduces the possibility of them accessing leadership positions, improved earnings, or even work.6
Central African Republic:
The Central African Republic (CAR) is located in Central Africa, bordered by Chad in the north, Sudan in the northeast, South Sudan in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west. The CAR has an area of about 620,000 square kilometers and an estimated population of about 4.4 million as of 2008.1
The CAR has been unstable since its independence from France in 1960 and has endured several coupes; it is described as a failed estate with a permanent crisis. In March of 2013 the Seleka rebel overthrew the government, and initiated a period of lawlessness and violence. The UN has warned that the risk of genocide is high, describing the ethnic-religious cleansing targeting Muslims as a big concern. 2 Since the initiation of the conflict over 1 million people have fled their homes and are living without sufficient access to food, water and sanitation.
Even though the CAR has significant mineral and natural resources including uranium, crude oil, gold, diamonds, lumber and significant quantities of arable land, the CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world and is among the ten poorest countries in Africa; the Human Development Index places the CAR as 179 out of 187 countries with data. Less than 30% of Central Africans have access to clean water and even fewer to sanitation.3
WE partners with reputable NPOs, NGOs and local organizations to leverage knowledge, experience, and manpower in the regions of focus, and to ensure the sustainability of all water and sanitation solutions.
Projects are typically proposed by our partners; key factors impacting project selection include:
Typical project types include wells, piped systems and rainwater catchments, although other solutions may be implemented depending on the specifics of the situation.
WE allocates financial resources based on greatest need and, of course, availability of such resources.
Currently, WE is working with partners in Honduras and the Central African Republic to provide resources for local water and sanitation solutions.
Will enable the maintenance of existing water pumps in the Central African Republic so that access to clean water can be secured on an ongoing basis. There are over 600 pumps waiting for maintenance and each pump benefits around 500 people. The estimated cost is given as per pump per year, but any contribution amount is welcomed and will be allocated towards a pump.
Our partner in the Central African Republic has drilled over 500 wells since 2004; each well can provide clean water for about 500 people. Still, over 80% of the Central African Republic does not have access to clean water.
This is an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to the launching of a water program that will provide local employment opportunities and long term safe water solutions to many schools and villages in Cameroon!