MINSA certification

“The greatest ideas are the simplest.”

Our Water Chlorinator is one of CTI’s greatest success stories — and one of our simplest designs, made of inexpensive PVC pipes and chlorine tablets. Today, our Chlorinators are providing more than 330,000 Nicaraguans in over 600 rural villages with safe drinking water for just pennies per day.

In July 2015, the Chlorinator reached another milestone.

Dr. Carlos Saenz Torres, the Director of Public Health of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) certified our Water Chlorinator as effective in eliminating fecal contamination in drinking water and providing water safe for human consumption.

CTI has worked closely with MINSA for years, but primarily with the local, municipality-level branches — providing water treatment installations in areas MINSA identifies as high-risk and assisting with various public health initiatives. While MINSA provides critical public health services at the municipality level, the national-level MINSA Central is the regulatory agency.

Despite our established partnership with the municipal branches, communities were frequently asking us, “Is this device certified by MINSA Central?” We listened to their concerns — the new certification comes directly from MINSA’s national office in Managua.

What does this mean for CTI?

“As a recognized and well-respected authority, MINSA’s certification adds credibility to our Water Chlorinator and our work in Nicaragua,” explained CTI Program Director Wes Meier. “This gives us greater opportunities to expand our reach, establish new partnerships, and provide more Nicaraguans with safe drinking water.”

Thanks to this simple technology supported by an effective program, CTI plans to reach 500,000 Nicaraguans with safe drinking water by 2018.

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Over the past four years, CTI has been on a mission to provide safe water to rural communities in Nicaragua. We teamed up with more than 400 villages to install CTI’s Water Chlorinator, and today, we are proud to announce that more than 250,000 people have gained clean drinking water for the first time in their history.

This is the culmination of a goal we set in 2011, when CTI’s water chlorinators were in just over 40 communities. We built a team with hundreds of village volunteers, officials from the Nicaraguan Health Ministries, NGO partners, and together, village-by-village, we’ve been spreading clean, safe water and empowering community leaders.

The results? Kids are full of life and in school, parents are healthy and productive, and waterborne illness has “disappeared” according to local Health Ministries in the areas where we’re working.

I want to thank the Pentair Foundation, Project Redwood, Rotary clubs, and countless donors for their support and dedication to the fundamental right to safe water. We are on track to double our impact over the next few years, and by 2018, we will empower half a million people in Nicaragua with improved health and more prosperous communities.

Onward!
Alexandra Spieldoch, CTI Executive Director

 

CTI team at our office1

Alexandra Spieldoch, CTI Executive Director

My biggest takeaway from my recent trip to Nicaragua is that CTI’s success with its Water Chlorinator is thanks to strong relationships. Our team in Nicaragua is absolutely committed to clean, safe water in support of a stronger country. And, they travel by bus, motorbike and even on foot to get our chlorinators installed where they are needed.

We work with organized water committees within villages, and it is with them that we have built our friendships. They take ownership of our technology. They pay for it, train to use it, and work with CTI to evaluate its effectiveness.

These water committees are autonomous bodies that have been organized throughout the country to implement the right to water. Each one has an executive committee to identify needs, make decisions and collect and spend money donated by the villagers themselves. This is not a small feat. Nicaragua has the second lowest GDP in the Americas after Haiti. There is little extra, but villagers know that the way forward has to be based on clean, safe water and healthy food.





Another important thing I learned is the way in which we are supporting women leaders at the executive levels  of the water committees.  In fact, women are often in charge of fund allocations as they are perceived to be more responsible.  When meeting one of the water committees in the coffee producing region of Matagalpa, I had the honor of meeting one of these woman leaders and her daughter

We are working in partnership with the Ministry of Health to support these water committees in their efforts and to double our impact over the next three years through more detailed monitoring, evaluation and promotion of the chlorinator.