WATERAID: Meet Carla--rainwater harvesting in Nicaragua

A Mother's Love & Water

WaterAid sits down with Carla Espinoza, mother of two sons and two daughters, living in Wawa Bar, Nicaragua. Carla practices traditional fishing and agriculture to provide for her family and has recently benefitted from a WaterAid intervention, proving her with access to safe and clean water.

"For years, along with my family and the rest of the members of my community we have suffered from the lack of access to safe water. We cannot dig a borehole deeper than one meter because the soil crumbles down and in the wet season the majority of these boreholes get flooded. For us women, the situation is difficult, at dawn we get up with our daughters to go fetch water from the boreholes and very often we get sick when we consume it.

In my community, there is a health facility but the nurse is rarely there. And even if she arrives, there is no medicine. Often, we consider going to the city of Bilwi but we lack the financial resources to support the cost of transportation, housing, food and the medicine.

Recently, I was the beneficiary of a ferro-concrete water tank, which has come to solve one of my biggest problems, the access to safe water."

How do you feel now?

"Very happy. After becoming a beneficiary of the project, I was anxiously waiting for the wet season. Now that we are in season, and we see the results. I no longer go asking for water. I no longer have to get up at dawn, and my sons and daughters no longer get sick form diarrhea or stomach pains. The best part is that they no longer miss school."

What do you use the water for?

"We only use the water for cooking and drinking. I carefully look after my water because I know that I will miss it in the dry season. I’m already saving the water from the tank because I don’t want to drink contaminated water from my community boreholes."

"Sometimes we share a bucket of water with my neighbors that don’t already have their own tank, because I know that they are suffering when they drink contaminated water."

What are your thoughts on the project?

"In my community, we’ve never had a project like this one. I see that this project has benefited many families, and I feel that people are happy and many others are hoping to be reached very soon. I’ve also seen that many youth are being trained in masonry and plumbing. Also, the families that received the tanks have been trained on the consumption of safe water and good hygiene practices. All these training programs are helping my community. Through this project we can have a better future consuming safe water, and we will be able to look after the rainwater harvesting system and the toilet."

Photo Credit: 
WaterAid/ Jordi Ruiz Cirera