Yugel is Relieved to Have Safe Drinking Water in Her Community

Yugel with her youngest son

By Orlando Montiel Salas – Clean Water Program Officer

Yugel is a 29-year-old single mother of three children. Her oldest daughter is 13, her middle daughter is seven, and her baby son is one years old. She lives with her children and her parents in the Rio Plata community in Nueva Guinea. Yugel and her family use Rio Plata’s community aqueduct, which is chlorinated by a Self-Help International CTI-8 chlorinator.

Orlando Salas, Self-Help’s Clean Water Program Officer, met with Yugel during a Feb. 2020 visit to Río Plata to provide advice and follow-up to Rio Plata’s Water and Sanitation Committee (CAPS) in the chlorination of water. She shared this with Orlando:

“Our CAPS is doing a good job. We don’t lack water, we have water 24 hours a day, and the committee cares about taking care of our water.

“I am so happy that the CAPS is chlorinating our water because we’ve been able to avoid some of the diseases we used to get. My children are healthy, they haven’t gotten sick from the water, and they are going to school. My little boy needs more care than the other children, and he hasn’t gotten sick.

“Previously, there was a CAPS in our community that was not providing good water services. I was sick, and the doctor told me that I had bacteria in my stomach because of the water. I received treatment and got better.

“Now, the new committee works hard to maintain and give us good water. The safe drinking water we receive every day makes up for the community cost of maintaining the chlorinated water.

Orlando inspecting the chlorinator.

“I am a single mother with three children. I do not have a partner to help me, and I do not have a permanent job. Right now, I have temporary work harvesting coffee. I also farm yam crops at a farm near Rio Plata. I pay C$120 cordobas ($3.21 USD) for the drinking water service every month because I know that we are receiving good quality water.

“I am also glad that my community’s CAPS members and the head of the health center are working together. A woman named Flor is the nurse who is in charge of keeping records and controlling the amount of chlorine that is added to the water we drink. She visits the houses to check if there is chlorine in the water, and if there isn’t, she notifies the CAPS so that they will treat the water.

“Thank God we are in good health. Thank you to Self-Help International that helps the CAPS so that they continue to chlorinate our water.”