Strengthening equity in access to safe drinking water and sanitation by empowering citizens and excluded indigenous groups in rural areas

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Ninety-one percent of the indigenous population in the Ngöbe-Buglé Region suffers from extreme poverty. Its dispersion, mobility and location in remote, inaccessible regions increase the cost of traditional healthcare solutions, hindering the economic justification for investment and private participation. Making use of an effective intercultural and gender approach, the Joint Programme encourages equity in developing water resource management capabilities and extends the opportunities for healthcare and educational development of the populations and their community organizations in four districts in the Ngöbe-Buglé Region. The national counterpart's central and local institutional capacities for efficiently providing basic services to communities in poverty and those in conditions of extreme poverty will be strengthened. This will reduce the human development gap by transforming a population’s empowerment into an improvement in the quality of and access to public water and healthcare services.

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Main Outcomes

  • Health improvements through the empowerment of the beneficiary population to successfully extend the coverage of and access to water and water treatment services.
  • Strengthening of water resource sustainability through local and institutional actions.

Main Achievements

  • Water Quality Monitoring Program involving a commitment from aqueduct users and requiring them to make payments on a regular basis.
  • Water and sanitation infrastructure: works in three communities have advanced by 100%, and works in three others have advanced by 60%.
  • Disease reduction: doctors consulted during the midterm evaluation reported a noticeable reduction in disease where water systems have been installed.

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