SHI Commitment to the Purification of Water in Las Maravillas

By Orlando Jose Montiel Salas, Clean Water Program Officer

Las Maravillas Health Center

Las Maravillas is a rural community that had a serious water quality problem until Self-Help Nicaragua was able to install a chlorination system that purified the water.

In addition to installing chlorinators for clean water, Self-Help’s Clean Water Program provides comprehensive technical advice to the directors of local Drinking Water and Sanitation Committees (the Spanish acronym is CAPS) in rural communities through education and continuous training to strengthening of knowledge of the CAPS committee members.


Las Maravillas Road

Previously, the 875 inhabitants of Las Maravillas had been consuming raw water for almost seven years without any treatment to make it safe to drink, which generated doubts and concern among the families who use the water. Tests of Las Maravillas’ water system had shown that the water was contaminated, which was necessary to correct before a disease outbreak would affect the entire community. The population of Las Maravillas felt vulnerable and exposed to contracting diseases, mainly diarrhea and kidney infections, which would negatively affect their physical health and their local economy because illness would prevent people from being able to work and be productive.

Las Maravillas bridge

Moreover, Las Maravillas is an economic hub for other rural communities in the municipality of El Castillo, where local merchants do business with people from other communities who come to sell the agricultural products from their farms and to buy basic inputs for their sustenance. Improving the water quality of the community would not just benefit the inhabitants of Las Maravillas, but also the merchants and farmers who visit the community and consume the water.



The CAPS Secretary supplying the Chlorinator

For this reason, the Municipal Mayor’s Office wanted to improve the community’s water system and called on Self-Help Nicaragua’s Clean Water Program for technical advice and to monitor the community’s water quality by carrying out technical inspection visits to verify the operation of the chlorinator and the use of chlorine tablets for water purification. Coordination between the Municipal Water and Sanitation Unit of the local government in El Castillo and the Clean Water Program of Self-Help resulted in the establishment of a strategy for water chlorination in the Las Maravillas community.

Also, the directors of Las Maravillas’ CAPS were willing and

The water flowing, once purified.

receptive to Self-Self’s water purification strategy, which stresses the importance of using a chlorinator system and chlorine tablets to prevent water-borne diseases from affecting the community members who receive water from the system.

Self-Help’s Clean Water Program recognizes that water is the most important resource that exists in nature from a biological point of view. All living beings need water to exist and develop fully and that is especially true for human beings, especially young people who need clean water for healthy development.

Self-Help’s Clean Water Program is contributing to people having

Water Storage Tank

access to safe water in their communities, as was the case of Las Maravillas through the installation of a chlorinator with chlorine tablets. It is critically important for the health of the people it works with that Self-Help has the resources to continue to provide its services for the purification of a community’s water supply, as it has done in Las Maravillas and many other communities in Nicaragua.