News: Water For People

Changing the Future through Safe Sanitation

Thursday, May 3, 2018  
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Originally published in the Winter 2017-2018 edition of NC Currents


   Francisco Javier Palacios is creating  healthier futures in the district of San Rafael  del Norte, Nicaragua by changing the way  people think about sanitation.  For sanitation to be sustainable and  reach everyone forever, the entire marketplace  has to be considered. There must  be market demand for toilets, access to  capital for families to invest in them, locally  available construction supplies, and local  knowledge about how to construct safe  and hygienic sanitation facilities. That’s  where Francisco comes in. 


  Francisco was one of 36 masons  trained by Water For People and a local  partner, Cuculmeca, to construct sanitation  facilities. This training sparked his passion  to make sure the community is educated  about the importance of safe and hygienic  sanitation services and that everyone has  the resources to pursue their own healthier  futures – forever. 


  “It is very important that a community  has access to water and sanitation,  because they are basic needs,” says  Francisco. “Nobody can live without water,  and when a community has access to  water, everyone lives better and is healthy  – which is the most important thing.  Sanitation goes hand in hand with health.”  Francisco has been busy since completing  the masonry training – with not only  building bathrooms, but also applying to go  back to school. Armed with a commitment  to continue learning and create change in  the community, he applied at a technical  school to a two-year program focused on  drinking water, with the goal of becoming a  water technician. With this more advanced  training, he’ll be able to create larger-scale  change by educating his community about  water resource management and why  safe water and sanitation are critical to the  future of their families, communities, and to  all of Nicaragua.


   “My main goal is to share my  knowledge with other people so that we  will all be educated. Then our home, our  community, our municipality, and finally our  country can change – starting with us.”  When you just add water, people  like Francisco are impacted by water and  sanitation programming and go on to  inspire even greater change. 


  About Water For People  Founded in 1991, Denver, CO-based  Water For People is a global nonprofit  working across nine countries in Latin  America, India, and Africa to achieve  lasting quality water and sanitation  services. Water For People brings together  communities, local entrepreneurs, and  governments, to build, operate and  maintain their own reliable water and  sanitation systems and services.  Currently working in 30 districts with  4 million people, Water For People is  growing to deliver services to over  By Water For People  7 million people in 50 districts globally over  the next 10 years. Water For People is also  working at the national level in Rwanda,  Uganda, Bolivia and Honduras.      

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