Saturday, June 16, 2012

Water and sanitation still problems in Honduras

"Urban water systems improved - though many communities 
in Tegucigalpa still only have running water for 
two hours a day - but in rural areas, time stood still."
Carol Frey
Honduras Weekly
Honduras Weekly
By all rights, what I saw in Honduras two weeks ago would be illegal: A couple dozen people woke up to find that they had no water to flush toilets and very little to drink. The Honduran National Congress passed a law in 2003 law reorganizing the provision of water so that all people -- urban and rural -- would have access to clean water. Yet when May’s heavy rains were suspected to have jarred loose the intake tubes from the Humuya River to The Leadership Center campus near El Salto, nobody considered filing a complaint with the authorities. 
Instead, those on campus formed a “bucket brigade” to carry cloudy water up from the river to operate the toilets. Why complain when most residents in that part of Honduras’ central highlands don’t have toilets, let alone a water supply to operate them? Promises made in 2003 have proved as empty as those toilet tanks.
For more than half a century, the National Autonomous Aqueduct and Drainage Service (SANAA) had the responsibility for providing water and sanitation for Hondurans. What SANAA didn’t have was sufficient people or money to carry out its responsibility. Diarrheal diseases, related to unclean water, food and sanitary practices, killed many more children under 5 years of age in Honduras than they did in more developed countries. After Hurricane Mitch wiped out many water improvements in 1999, the law changed how water was to be managed. Urban water systems improved -- though many communities in Tegucigalpa still only have running water for two hours a day -- but in rural areas, time stood still
Read more here.

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