AngelaKuan profile“My Life has been difficult, but all the work I have done for my community has been worth it,” says 71-year-old Angela Kuan. This woman has led numerous projects that have built schools, roads, and water systems in Siares, a rural community in the mountains of Nicaragua.

Her latest project? Guaranteeing that every family in her village is drinking clean, safe water.

Angela is the Coordinator of her village’s Water and Sanitation Committee. She mobilized her community to purchase CTI’s Water Chlorinator in an effort to prevent the diarrhea and disease that frequently occurred from drinking untreated water. This inexpensive system attaches to a village water tank and uses chlorine tablets to disinfect an entire community’s drinking water source.

Angela and her neighbors shared the $200 (USD) cost of purchasing the chlorinator, and CTI staff trained Angela and other community volunteers to assemble and operate the system. Families in the community chip in a few cents each month to buy new chlorine tablets, and the system is regularly maintained by the local Water and Sanitation Committee.

Angela’s community of 1,500 now has clean drinking water.

What does this mean for Siares? Angela explains, “Before the chlorinator, you would see up to 2 children being buried because of diarrhea [each year]. Now the chlorinator has decreased sickness in our community, it has changed the lives of our people. I am happy to see the impact, children are being raised in a better environment.”AngelaKuan interview

Angela stresses that this success wouldn’t be possible without the support of CTI. She explains that prior to installing CTI’s Chlorinator, Siares tried other water treatment systems—but none of them stuck. Unlike the CTI Chlorinator, other technologies frequently rely on power sources that aren’t practical in rural communities, and they did not constantly clean the water. Because of its simplicity and effectiveness, rural villages can maintain and operate CTI’s Chlorinator with ease—which explains why CTI’s clean water project in Siares has thrived where others failed.

“I will die satisfied with the work I have done,” Angela stated proudly, “It has been an honor to do what I have done for my community,”

Angela’s passion and generosity have improved the lives of hundreds of men, women, and children in her village. And thanks to dedicated community members and support from CTI donors, more than 400,000 people across Nicaragua are drinking clean safe, water.


AdrianDiaz


Adrian Diaz graduated from Northland College in May 2016. He double majored in Sustainable Community Development and Sociology with a Social Justice Emphasis. After finishing his internship with CTI, Adrian plans on applying to law school in the Twin Cities area, and becoming a human rights or immigration attorney.

 

Published in Water

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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Published in Central America

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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

 

Published in Chlorinator

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

 

Published in Central America

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.

Published in Chlorinator
Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Most Powerful Tool of All

chlorinator-installation

CTI’s most valuable tool is not a grinder, nor a chlorinator, but it is something that can’t be built. In Nicaragua, CTI has spent many years BUILDING TRUST while installing our Water Chlorinators. By partnering with volunteer water committees in Nicaragua, CTI trains villages to install and maintain chlorinators to control the harmful bacteria in water. Together, CTI and Nicaraguan communities are eliminating waterborne illness while building strong collaborative relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

On a recent trip with CTI to Nicaragua, members of Project Redwood directly experienced the implementation of CTI’s work and saw the power of this partnership in action. Project Redwood is a foundation of the Stanford Business School Class of 1980 that supports international development projects that mitigate the causes and effects of poverty.

Project Redwood members reported that CTI infuses enthusiasm, respectfulness, passion, and dedication to clean drinking water among the extraordinary Nicaraguan people — and in the process they create a bond of trust. As one traveler wrote, “The positive and respectful relationship shared by CTI and local water committees is fundamental in the adoption of CTI’s systems in Nicaragua.” This relationship makes CTI’s Water Chlorinator all the more effective because technologies are only truly appropriate when there is trust between those who build it and those who use it.

With the great relationships between CTI and Nicaraguan villages comes more opportunity to reach CTI’s goal of providing clean drinking water to 250,000 Nicaraguans by the summer of 2014. Severe rural poverty and the prevalence of water-borne illnesses remain a threat to these communities, but CTI’s Water Chlorinator makes water safe and that is key to their health, vitality, and opportunity. Project Redwood’s experience confirms that livelihoods can improve with great technology and trust.

To find out more about Project Redwood’s experience with CTI in Nicaragua, read their blogs here.

Blog pic of Sorcha


Sorcha Douglas is an intern from Macalester College, studying International Studies with a concentration in International Development and a minor in Environmental Studies.

 

 

 

Published in Water

The fact that unsafe water kills more people each year than all forms of violence (including war) is appalling. But the fact that there are plenty of affordable and effective water treatment solutions makes these deaths a tragedy.

One of the challenges of eradicating waterborne illness in the developing world is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. What works well in one community isn’t going to be appropriate in another. Take CTI’s water chlorinator, for instance. Our chlorinator is designed to provide safe water for a community; it attaches to a gravity-fed water source that an entire village obtains its water from, like a water tank. In Nicaragua, where community water tanks are common, CTI Water Chlorinators provide safe water to over 150,000 people. But there are many parts of the world where families obtain water from less centralized sources, like nearby streams or lakes. For these families, CTI’s Water Chlorinator isn’t going to be much help.

In search of a small-scale water solution

To help individual families treat their water, CTI is exploring a smaller-scale water filtration system that can provide safe water for 8-10 people and meet the following criteria:

  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Does not require electricity
  • Must produce safe drinking water within 2 hours
  • Must produce a minimum of 15 gallons per day
  • Must be certified as to its efficacy against waterborne pathogens
  •  Must be easy to clean

We aren’t seeking to reinvent the wheel, so CTI’s water team has researched numerous technologies on the market that either meet the above criteria, or can be adapted. We’ve narrowed our focus on the Sawyer Water filter. We like the filter because it’s very affordable and it works exceptionally. Like most water treatment technologies, the filter does require occasional cleaning. Without cleaning, the water’s flow rate begins to decrease over time as the filter collects contaminates. In order to make the system easier for families to clean, we’ve permanently connected a backflush device that returns the filter to its optimal flow rate.

Testing Water Filter in Nicaragua

Testing in Nicaragua

Testing Water Filter in Senegal

Testing in Senegal

Field Testing in Senegal and Nicaragua

Two Prototype units are currently being field tested in Nicaragua and Senegal for flow capacity and ease of use. Thus far, feedback on performance has been consistently excellent. Users have reported the prototypes are effective, intuitive to use, and their rate of output is quite satisfactory. If the initial field tests continue to go well, CTI will likely explore wider distribution of the systems.

Published in Water
Siblings do the washing at Acopia San Francisco Uca, a major coffee plantation and wholesaler in Nicaragua. Behind them, community members build a CTI water chlorinator.

Siblings do the washing at Acopia San Francisco Uca, a major coffee plantation and wholesaler in Nicaragua. Behind them, community members build a CTI water chlorinator.

In rural Nicaragua, seasonal workers and their families travel long distances to work on coffee, corn and cocoa plantations for months at a time. The money they earn during this period is essential to their families’ welfare, but the lack of safe drinking water at plantations often causes serious illness—preventing seasonal workers from going to work and devastating families.

Access to safe water not only improves community health, it increases incomes too. In fact, every $1 invested in improved water and sanitation yields an average of $4-12 for the local economy.

Because communities ability to earn money is so dependent on safe water, many plantations in Nicaragua are installing CTI’s Water Chlorinator. We are currently providing safe water to more than 12,000 seasonal workers in Nicaragua. With access to safe water, parents can earn wages, kids can attend school, and families in general have better lives.

Published in Water

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.
Published in Central America

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. 

Published in Central America
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