Women lead drinking water committees in Waslala, Nicaragua

December 3, 2021 Gender Equity

Women participation in communities organizational processes in Nicaragua Rural Project implementation areas, has been fundamental to achieve the proposed objectives.

In Waslala, Migdalia Rodríguez, a 60-year-old leader, mother of six and active participant in her church, is currently president of the CAPS. In addition to her domestic and agricultural activities, she has been working in the committee since she was elected by the villagers during the community assembly.

The Drinking Water and Sanitation Committees (CAPS) are non-profit community organizations integrated by natural people democratically elected by the community, creating the necessary conditions to guarantee access to drinking water and sanitation to the population in general, with the purpose of implementing actions that contribute to the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).

"During this process we were working empirically without any guidance from the institutions that work on social projects. Later, we were invited to participate in the training program developed by Fundación Madre Tierra in coordination with WaterAid. These trainings have been of great benefit to us since through this process we have improved in aspects such as the reduction of the delay in the water service payment by the users. I believe the training process has facilitated the organization of the community, the Water Committee has resumed the integration of beneficiary families in the activities and meetings that the CAPS convenes," shares Migdalia.

Migdalia Ramírez, leader of change and president of her community's CAPS.

Assuming a responsibility like this is not easy for women who face many challenges in communities where it is the man who assumes leading positions.

"What makes me feel proud of having participated in the training process is that I can share the experiences acquired with my family and other families in the community. In addition, I have been able to share with another committee in the municipality, since we often do not know the experience of the other CAPS in the municipality," continues Migdalia.

As part of the CAPS strengthening strategy, 20 Waslala Committees were trained in modules on Administration and Financial Management, Governance with a Gender Approach, Water Quality, Sanitation and Hygiene, Operation and Maintenance, and Integrated Water Resources Management.

On the other hand, Results-Linked Learning -AVAR- also appears as a strategy and method for advising companies or entities in order to promote institutional changes through programs, systematic execution of training and technical assistance events. This allows strengthening technical and managing capacities, showing practical and tangible results as a result of each of the improvements achieved in the organization.

The main objective of AVAR is, therefore, to improve the capacities of the CAPS and ensure the sustainability of investments in water, hygiene and sanitation in the long term.

In Waslala, during the first half of 2021, talks and follow-up visits were made to 12 CAPS of the communities involved in the project. In addition, in Puerto Cabezas, the CAPS strengthening process was completed with the participation of 10 communities of Tasba Pri. These CAPS training and follow-up processes are carried out with the Municipal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Units (UMASH) of the Mayor's Office of Puerto Cabezas.

Rufinia accesses ASH and acquires new abilities

Rufinia Breakstone, a 42 years old and inhabitant of Wawa Bar community, an indigenous territory, participates in Nicaragua Rural project. She and her two daughters now have access to potable water and a toilet in their residence. Rufina also learned how to install rainwater harvesting systems and toilets, and now serves as treasurer of her community's drinking water and sanitation committee.

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