Water For People has been in Guatemala since 1997. In the years following its first project, more than 100 water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives were implemented throughout the country. In 2007, Water For People–Guatemala developed a strategic plan to work exclusively in the department of El Quiché, where it could maximize existing partnerships and staff time. El Quiché was also selected because of its great need: the department has one of the highest levels of poverty in the country and very low levels of water and sanitation coverage.
Everyone Forever in Guatemala
Everyone Forever is a unique programmatic effort to provide water and sanitation to Everyone in targeted districts and municipalities, Forever. It means these districts and communities never again need another international water agency to address their water challenges. And it provides a model for greater replication, leading to a push for national full water and sanitation coverage. Water For People–Guatemala is focusing its Everyone Forever programming in four municipalities in the department of El Quiché: San Bartolome Jocotenango, San Andrés Sajcabajá, San Antonio Ilotenango, and Santa Cruz del Quiché. These four districts are all located in the Salinas Watershed in the central highlands.
Lasting water and sanitation solutions can only be achieved when local role-players—the private sector, civil society, and local government—are supported. As such, Water For People–Guatemala is deeply involved with key local stakeholders, including local municipal governments, the national Ministries of Health and Education, local nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and universities.
Everyone Forever Regions
Water For People believes long-lasting water and sanitation solutions can only be achieved when key local role-players—the private sector, civil society and local governments—are supported and encouraged to understand and act upon their areas of responsibility in support of community water supply and sanitation development. Our Guatemalan partners, besides the municipalities themselves, are the country’s Ministries of Health and Education, the Municipal Promoting Institute, local nongovernmental organizations, private sector, and universities.
Highlight from Work in 2012
Water For People–Guatemala’s SWASH+ work has rightfully gained national and international attention. In 2012, Water For People–Guatemala won an award for “Best Practices for Promoting Health in the School Environment” from the Pan-American Health Organization and World Health Organization in the environmental protection category. Water For People–Guatemala’s hygiene education methodology of creating classroom hygiene corners has been adopted in Honduras and Nicaragua.
Moving Forward: Programming in 2013
In addition to working to increase water and sanitation coverage in the four target municipalities in 2013, Water For People–Guatemala will continue to explore market-based sanitation solutions. With the hiring of a consultant focused on sanitation as a business and the creation of a sustainable sanitation plan, Water For People–Guatemala will have more capacity to explore sanitation as a business options such as facilitating access to loans for sanitation, designing sanitation solutions that can be built at lower cost than current available options, and possibly supporting sanitation businesses that could construct low-cost toilets that meet people’s preferences.