Clean Water – Not Just a Drop in the Bucket

a woman nurses her child as she discusses clean water with SHI staff

Abigal with her child, discussing clean water

Thanks to your support, we were able to install the 88th water chlorination system in southern Nicaragua, bringing clean, safe drinking water to 10,724 families. We know our work is not finished, but we’re now more than half way to our goal of ensuring that 20,000 families have safe drinking water every day – and all the health benefits that come with it.

I’m often asked, “But how long does a system last?”  Well, since it’s made with locally available, affordable, and easily replaceable parts, it lasts indefinitely!  In addition to bringing clean water to several new communities this summer, I’ve been visiting communities whose systems were installed several years ago to check in on the maintenance and ensure things are running smoothly.

One such community was La Esperanza No. 1, in Rio San Juan, Nicaragua, a community of 1,120 people. La Esperanza No. 1 installed a CTI-8 water chlorination system in July 2013. I visited with Abigail, Treasurer of the Drinking Water and Sanitation Committee, who proudly reported, “There have been significant decreases of diarrhea and kidney infections in the people of La Esperanza.”

Abigail has lived in this community for over 16 years with her two daughters. As she nursed her two-week-old baby, Abigail and her neighbor Candida commented on the faint smell of chlorine in their water when they use it to prepare meals. They say it’s a refreshing way of reminding them they can feed their families with confidence, knowing that the chlorine is killing the parasites.

Before installing the CTI-8 chlorinator system, the women said that their children were consistently suffering from diarrhea, but now things are different.  To find out exactly how successful the chlorinator is working in the community, I spoke with a doctor named Alexander, head of the La Esperanza No. 1 Health Center.

“Zero cases,” stated the doctor, “…there have been zero cases of diarrhea in children or any adults since the chlorinator has reached every household.”

That means less school missed, fewer cases of parasites, and fewer kidney infections for the children living in these neighborhoods.  For over three years, the community of La Esperanza No. 1 municipality of San Carlos has experienced better health conditions thanks to the installation of Self-Help’s CTI-8 Chlorinator.

After learning that there are no cases of diarrhea now, the two women smiled and replied, “We’re happy knowing that we’re drinking clean and safe water…thank you for bringing the CTI-8 chlorinator to us.”