Doña Aurela is a community leader in Nicaragua who volunteers with the CAPS to maintain her village’s potable water. CAPS (Comite de Agua Potable y Saniemento or Potable Water and Sanitation Committee) is a national organization of formal village water committees common in rural communities, where many villages lack any form of water treatment. CTI partners with CAPS throughout Nicaragua, and trains them to install and maintain our Water Chlorinators, which provide entire villages with safe water for pennies per day.

“Safe water is a prerequisite to ending poverty.”

What motivates these men and women to give their time, energy, and money to establish safe water in their villages? There are many reasons, but as Doña Aurela explains in the video above, safe water is an essential prerequisite to building healthier communities and economic growth.

This week, CTI and our partners at EOS International and Self Help International are hosting an inaugural Clean Water Conference in the capital city of Managua. We’re gathering CAPS leaders from villages across Nicaragua, as well as officials from the National Ministry of Health, Mayor’s Offices, and other non-governmental development organizations. We are meeting to discuss the state of potable water in rural villages, how each of us contributes to addressing the challenges, and ways we can strengthen and expand our partnership nationally.

And if you believe that access to safe water is a fundamental right everyone should have, you can help us realize that vision. Click on the image below to make a donation, and your gift will be matched—today only!

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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Safe water for 229,000 people and counting….

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This just in: We’ve now brought safe water to 229,852 people in Nicaragua, in more than 400 villages as of the end of March!

 

Thank you Pentair Foundation for helping us empower these communities with safer water and better health! We’re well on our way to reaching our goal of 250,000 people by June.

For the past 4 years, CTI has been helping rural farming communities in Nicaragua gain safe water with our Water Chlorinator—an inexpensive system made of PVC piping that produces clean water for an entire village for just pennies per day. Working throughout Western Nicaragua, our program manager and his staff train rural communities to build, install and maintain chlorinators. To expand our reach, we partner with Nicaragua-based development organizations (EOS International and Self-Help International) that install chlorinators in additional regions of the country. We also partner with the Nicaraguan Health Ministry, which accompanies our staff to the villages to provide communities with health and sanitation education.

WATERGOAL-13The Nicaraguan communities are highly invested in the program. In each village, we partner with formal water committees, called CAPs. The CAPs purchase the Water Chlorinators, maintain the systems, and collect a few cents from families in the village to fund the replacement chlorine tablets each month. Communities with our Water Chlorinator have experienced major health improvements and are extremely proud of their achievements.

Visit our website to learn more about this project or make a contribution

 

SDSUEWB

In December, I was part of a Engineers Without Borders (EWB) team from South Dakota State University that traveled to Carmen Pampa, Bolivia to install CTI’s Water Chlorinator.  Our EWB chapter has developed a five-year commitment to the Unidad Academica Campesina de Carmen Pampa (UAC-CP) and the surrounding community to help them meet their drinking and waste water needs.  The UAC-CP is a rural university that provides a BS-level education to young women and men who do not have that opportunity due to unequal access to education by the poor.

chlorinator1

Our group installed two Water Chlorinators in parallel to treat the drinking water for the upper campus of the UAC-CP.  This drinking water serves about 300 students.  CTI’s Water Chlorinator operates by dissolving chlorine tablets in order to kill bacteria in the water.  The chlorine tablets are available in La Paz, which is a four-hour drive from the UAC-CP.  The parallel installation of the two chlorinators allows the users flexibility in the amount of water treated and the concentration of chlorine, as well as providing system redundancy.

Everything went well with the installation process, and everything has been up and running for almost a month.  Our EWB team plan to return over the summer to follow up on the chlorinator.  If everything is working well, and the people like the drinking water, we plan to install another chlorinator system for the lower campus and the surrounding community.

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Greg Tanner

Greg Tanner is a senior Mechanical Engineering major at South Dakota State University and president of the EWB SDSU student chapter.

He spent the summer of 2011 interning with CTI.

We are happy to report that we are now providing safe drinking water to more than 110,000 people in Nicaragua!

Chlorinator Installation

In the last year, CTI has more than doubled the number of people we are providing with a sustainable, community-run source of clean water. But our work’s not done yet. By this time next year, we want to double that number again, and then some. CTI has set the goal of proving a quarter of a million people with clean water by this time next year. We hope you will help us meet this ambitious target.

Recently, we surveyed the Nicaraguan communities that are using our water chlorination technology. Here’s what we learned:

  • The communities are maintaining their systems, with 81% reporting at least monthly cleaning and 90% reporting monthly visual inspection.
  •  The CTI Water Chlorinator is affordable. 93% of respondents “definitely agree” the price paid for the Water Chlorinators (about $100 USD) was worth the value created.
  •  Villages are healthier. 60% of respondents report ‘significant’ reductions in gastrointestinal illness, with another 24% reporting some reduction. The remaining 16% did not see beneficial reductions; some of which may be related to overall poor health practices.
  •  The villagers are happy. 82% would recommend the chlorinator ‘without reservation’ and 100% declare the system should be installed in every water system in Nicaragua.
Tuesday, 01 December 2009

Water Chlorinator Project in Nicaragua Restarted

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According to the 2006 United Nations Human Development Report, close to half of all people in developing countries are suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits. For children under age five, water-related diseases are the leading causes of death with1.8 million children dying each year from diarrhea – 4,900 deaths each day. The World Health Organization has stated that no intervention has greater overall impact upon national development and public health than the provision of safe drinking water and the proper disposal of human waste. 

Compatible Technology International began development of a water chlorinator in 2002 after being contacted by the Nicaraguan government for help in correcting the badly contaminated water systems in the rural areas of that country.  The CTI 8 is a simple, unique water chlorinator(see photo below) that focuses on delivering clean water to rural communities with low to medium flow water systems that do not have access to water treatment or electricity, and have minimal economic resources.  Most water systems are designed for larger communities and are more costly to implement.  

The CTI 8 Water Chlorinator was initially installed in about 30 communities in Nicaragua under the direct supervision of Nicaraguan Water Ministry personnel. Unfortunately, a combination of issues arose that caused the water project to stall for a couple of years.  We were unable to obtain the necessary chlorine tablets and the Nicaraguan Water Ministry disbanded the office which had been supervising the CTI 8 installations. 

In 2009 CTI restarted the Water Chlorinator Project with the help of the Nicaragua Department of Health, who has committed their hygienists, employed by the Department of Health, to participate in this project at the Department’s expense. CTI has contracted with an epidemiologist in Nicaragua to restart the project.  He has visited all of the original installations and was pleasantly surprised to find that the vast majority of them had been maintained by the original water committees and were just waiting for the necessary chlorine tablets to make them operational once again. 

In addition to the CTI representative, the hygienists will be a valuable component of the project, as they live in the municipalities, know the rural communities, work in health in those communities, and have community health education around water as part of their responsibilities. The distance and location of the chlorinators in rural communities make the use of the hygienists important, as they are able to monitor the chlorinator installations as part of their daily work, eliminating the need for difficult and constant travel to monitor the installations.  While we are actively searching for a chlorine tablet supplier in Central America, a shipment of tablets was delivered from the US this month and we are awaiting word that at least some of the installations have been reactivated. 

The intent is to have this project be self sustaining within a year through the sale of the chlorine tablets and chlorinator systems, but until that time we are continuing to seek funds to support the work we are doing in Nicaragua. 

In early 2002, the Nicaraguan government contacted CTI and asked us to investigate the possibility of correcting the badly contaminated water systems in the rural areas of that country.  CTI responded by engaging Americas Committee volunteers Fred Jacob (noted community organizer with a Nicaraguan NGO) and Charles Taflin (Senior Engineer with the Minneapolis Water Department) to design and implement a water disinfection system.  Thus, the CTI 8 water chlorinator was created.

The chlorinator was initially installed in about 30 communities in Nicaragua under the direct supervision of Nicaraguan Water Ministry personnel.  This simple chlorinator allows the people and communities where it is installed to have access to disinfected drinking water for pennies per day.  Unfortunately, due to political issues in Nicaragua, the dissolution of the Nicaraguan Water Ministry, and challenges securing appropriate chlorine tablets, the project has been less active than desirable the last few years.

However, in recent months, the National Health Ministry has been given jurisdiction over rural water and has been in communication with CTI to reinstate the water chlorinator program.  That, along with a recent breakthrough in obtaining the proper chlorine tablets, prompted Fred Jacob to visit Nicaragua last month where he checked on the chlorinators that had been installed by CTI a few years ago.  What he found was encouraging!  Fred reports, “It was heartwarming to see that most of the chlorinators and water systems were in acceptable to wonderful condition!”

CTI is actively forging ahead with this project and is working towards the goal of making 50 chlorinators fully operational within 90 days!