According to the most recent Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) Report by UNICEF and WHO, 87% of people in Honduras have access to improved water sources and 77% have improved sanitation facilities. While these numbers seem impressive, they do not provide a complete picture of water and sanitation access in Honduras. In the rural areas where Water For People–Honduras works, many of the communities have water systems, but the water from these systems often does not meet government quality and quantity standards.
Water For People first began supporting water and sanitation efforts in Honduras in 1997. From 1997 to 2006, Water For People–Honduras worked with partner organizations in over 90 rural communities. In 2007, it developed a regional strategy to target specific districts and to provide everyone in these areas (communities, schools, and health clinics) with access to safe drinking water and sanitation. To achieve this goal, Water For People–Honduras partners with local governments, the private sector, and local NGOs to strengthen support for comprehensive water and sanitation services throughout the districts.
Everyone Forever in Honduras
Everyone Forever is a unique programmatic effort to provide water and sanitation to Everyone in targeted districts and municipalities, Forever. It means these municipalities 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-Honduras is focusing its Everyone Forever programming in the mostly rural municipalities of Chinda, El Negrito, Ilama, and San Antonio de Cortés. At the end of 2011, Chinda was the first municipality to reach Everyone | every family, every school, and every clinic | with safe drinking water.
At only 43 square miles, the northwestern municipality of Chinda in the department of Santa Bárbara is composed of 14 rural communities totaling almost 6,000 inhabitants, most of them Lencan Indians who farm for a living. Rugged subsistence agriculture dominates the economy, but where they can, the farmers of Chinda grow coffee and grains to sell in regional markets.
Neighboring Chinda, the municipality of Ilama has a population of approximately 12,000. The majority of people in this rural municipality are subsistence farmers. Water For People–Honduras began working in Ilama in 2011.
San Antonio is a 114-square-mile municipality in the department of Cortés in northern Honduras. A population of approximately 27,000 lives in 45 rural communities in this mountainous region. Many San Antonians practice subsistence agriculture, raising beans and corn on small farms. Others work in sugarcane factories or raise animals for sale and consumption. Most villages have a primary school and some sort of health care center within several miles, but lack basic services like electricity, trash removal, and dependable roads.
El Negrito is a 326-square-mile area in the Yoro department of Honduras. Almost 54,000 people live in mostly rural communities in this beautiful land, half of which is mountainous, while the other half is defined by the Sula Valley. El Negrito is one of the poorest and least developed areas of Yoro. Most depend on subsistence farming to support their families, raising beans, corn, and the occasional chicken or pig on small family plots.
Water For People believes long-lasting water and sanitation solutions can be achieved when key local role-players—the local private sector, civil society, and local government—are supported. As such, Water For People is deeply involved with key local stakeholders, including the Municipality of Chinda, Municipality of San Antonio, Municipality of El Negrito, Municipality of Ilama, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, SANAA (Honduras National Autonomous Water and Sewerage Service), and Honduras Public University (UNAH–Valle de Sula).
Work in 2012
Water For People-Honduras is continuing to work with key sector actors at the local and national levels to increase access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education. In Chinda, Water For People-Honduras will build the capacity of local institutions to maintain full water coverage for Everyone in the district. In the other three Honduran municipalities, Water For People-Honduras is continuing to lay the groundwork for Everyone Forever and in 2012, programming will take place in 24 communities and three schools.