Agua para ConvidArte Tumaco

Is the Lazos de Agua Project in Colombia

Executed by PLAN Foundation, from May 2018 to December 2022, in 20 rural and seven urban communities.

In Colombia:

  • 8% of people (3,700,000) don't have access to drinking water.
  • 60% of water in households isn't in optimal conditions of potabilization.
  • 28% of rural population faces a critical situation due to the lack of water supply and are exposed to diseases.
  • 352 municipalities (of 1,123) don't have access to quality drinking water.
  • The departments with least access are La Guajira, Guanía, Cauca, Amazonas, Magdalena and Chocó.

Know Flor María Rincón's story

More than US$6 million contributed by the Program, communities, local government and the PLAN Foundation will benefit 22,500 people in 27 communities by December 2022.

In ConvidArte we increase the exercise of healthy practices and the strengthening of the WASH value chain in the intervened areas in Colombia through:

  • Infrastructure
  • Strengthening of organizations for the provision of WASH services
  • Social Art for Behaviour Change™ (SABC) activities
Customers served! $ 1000000  Total budget (USD)

Achievements as of December 2022 in Convidarte:

23,118 people

have received access to water and/or sanitation services (WASH).

33,199 people

have participated in SABC activities.

38 communities

in rural and urban areas have benefited.

21 community systems

of water supply have been built and improved.

972 women & 344 men

community members, Aguas de Tumaco officials, teachers and students, have received training as Agents of Change through 48 trainings.

1,275 replicas

of SABC interventions have been performed in communities by Agents of Change where 18,065 people have participated.

115 entrepreneurs have been supported through 474 WASH activities that include:

On-site and virtual training on technical, sales and customer service issues.

Specialized technical support.

Seed capital delivery.

38 SABC activities, have been designed and implemented 148 times to promote the adoption of behaviours such as:

  • payment of water fee
  • hand washing with soap and water
  • the safe treatment and storage of drinking water at home

These processes involve:

  • Theater plays.
  • Co-creation of songs and humorous clips.
  • Training workshops for Agents of Change.
  • Co-creation of murals.

Know Marlene's story

Marlene is a born leader, curious and committed. Her village is located more than 30 kilometers from the urban center of Tumaco, municipality of Nariño, Colombia.

Marlene has been part of the community action board, in which inhabitants of the village organize themselves to manage issues of common interest, and of the community organization for the optimization of the aqueduct, a process financed by ConvidArte in alliance with the local operator Aguas de Tumaco S.A. E.S.P.

Her goal was to reactivate a family dream and have a positive impact on her community: she would strengthen the hardware store in which her three children collaborated and in which the family had invested resources and labor. By contributing to the sustainability of the WASH system, Marlene made her community more autonomous.

A·B·C for Sustainability in ConvidArte

Access Component Goals:

  • Facilitate access to drinking water for 1,485 households in urban communities (7,424 people benefited).
  • Facilitate access to drinking water for 1,905 households in nine rural communities (9,525 people benefited).
  • Ensure proper management of domestic wastewater in 1,110 households of 11 rural communities (5,551 people benefited).
  • Facilitate the improvement of hand-washing units in 1,110 households.

In addition to infrastructure development, this component includes the creation and strengthening of community water and sanitation committees and the promotion of women's leadership.

ConvidArte's SABC activities inspire and activate the adoption of the following behaviours and sustain their practice:

  • Treat drinking water at home by boiling, filtering, chlorinating or mixed method and store it safely.
  • Wash hands with soap and water at important times: before eating, before preparing food and after using the toilet.
  • Pay the water service fee.
  • Pay the sanitation service fee (at the rural level).

ConvidArte's SABC activities include:


Theater plays followed by reflection forums.


Playful-pedagogical workshops, co-creation of audiovisuals and other artistic strategies.


Co-creation of short films, humor and musical clips, fotonovelas, murals and an annual festival.

The artists’ groups that have facilitated Component B activities throughout the implementation of ConvidArte are Asociación Agencia de Comunicaciones del Pacífico – ACOP, Calipso, Corporación Escénica La Guagua and Maestros del Entretenimiento.

The Capital Component, in synergy with the other components, promotes the local economy by strengthening the local WASH value chain:

  • Improve the WASH supply quality products and services through the promotion and strengthening of WASH productive initiatives.
  • Advise youth and adults on technical, financial management, marketing, sales and customer service issues.
  • Train to encourage skills development related to the gender transformative approach and promote entrepreneurial empowerment, personal development and conditions of equality between men and women.
  • Identify the existing supply in the local WASH value chain.
  • Identify new market opportunities for technical and financial support.

Some of the partners collaborating in Component C with the PLAN Foundation in the implementation of Agua para ConvidArte Tumaco are the Mayor's Office of Tumaco, Aguas de Tumaco E.S.P. and Cordeagropaz.

Improving lives and changing realities

"We are very grateful. We have been suffering from the lack of water for many years. In my community we didn't have a safe source of water. We had to walk to the creek to get it and it was murky and untreated. Now with the aqueduct, we have water every two days, drinkable and crystal clear,

Karen Ruiz, member of the Mascarey water committee, a community that in July 2021 officially received the aqueduct from the Tumaco Water for ConvidArte Project.

This is how a water committee is formed at ConvidArte:

The water committees formation is carried out through a specialized consultancy in charge of training the committee members for the sustainable provision of water system services. These built or improved within the framework of the Water for ConvidArte Project, together with the training, allow them to learn about the functioning, operation, maintenance and sustainability of the system.

As part of the training, the members of the committee address topics that provide them with tools to manage their systems in a sustainable and durable way:

  • Module 1: Why is it important to manage water in our community?
  • Module 2: Let's organize for water management in our community
  • Module 3: Let's get ready for water management
  • Module 4: Let's get to know our water system: how is it operated and maintained?
  • Module 5: And how do we provide water service?

In Chimbuzal, a rural town located in Tumaco, Colombia, the empowerment of women has enabled its more than 250 inhabitants to have drinking water in their homes.

How are MSMEs trained and economically strengthened at ConvidArte?

ConvidArte's training for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) is part of a training process that seeks to strengthen the technical, administrative and financial knowledge, and entrepreneurial spirit of micro-entrepreneurs. 

With a total of 13 modules, 7 on business training and 6 on life skills, the goal is for entrepreneurs to learn how to efficiently and sustainably manage their MSMEs.

On the other hand, the capital injection for MSMEs in ConvidArte is based on technical, social, economic, environmental and commercial criteria.

These take into account the coherence in the formulation of the business plan, knowledge of the business environment, economic viability, value proposition, sustainability, gender equality and presentation of the initiative.

After an analysis and evaluation of the information provided, the initiatives with the greatest viability are selected to benefit from cash contributions for specific purposes.

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