Imagine walking for three hours multiple times a day, just to get a glass of water. For citizens of developed countries that have easy access to running taps and shower heads, it’s an unthinkable concept. But for the inhabitants of the small Nicaraguan village Agua Fria, this distance is a reality of everyday life. In fact, it is estimated that over 1.5 million residents of rural Nicaragua have no access to clean water. Lack of fresh water in the undeveloped nation means higher disease rates, unsafe hygiene, and low productivity.
This, however, is a statistic that El Porvenir, a Nicaragua based NGO focused on building wells in lacking communities, is trying to change. Already, improvements have been made to villages throughout the country. In the village of Los Cerritos, for example, community members have been working every day for the past year digging a trench for a soon-to-be placed water pipe. The pipe will source water from an uphill spring with an installed water tank, and then use the force of gravity to bring fresh water to the town. This will change the lives of residents, who are used to trekking 4km a day to nearby water pockets.
Since the government lacks funds to assist local villages in receiving fresh water, it seems communities and independent organizations are taking matters into their own hands. But with a child dying every 15 seconds around the world from lack of access to clean water, it’s an uphill battle that’s worth the fight.
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All segments of Americas Now from March 9, 2014.