Two more Honduras projects were completed, and two new large projects are now underway – there is a lot going on in our Honduras program right now!
Two large projects, serving the communities of San Bartolo, Capuca and Ocote Solo in the municipality of San Andres, and the community of Portillo el Paraiso in Piraera, were recently completed. In collaboration with the local municipality, Water1st was also able to provide funding to a new project serving four communities in San Andres. This project is expected to be completed in early 2015. Working with our local partner, COCEPRADIL, and the municipality of San Andres, Lempira, Honduras (which has already co-financed several projects with Water1st), we anticipate to achieving the goal of 100% coverage in this municipality in the next few years.
We are also pleased to announce our first large, loan project in Honduras in collaboration with the municipality of Lepaera. We have been building towards this project for years. Last year we provided funding to allow our Honduras partner to obtain the legal status necessary to make loans for water projects and we have made a few small loans so far for communities that wanted engineering studies conducted to plan for system expansion.
The people of Lepaera had a system which doesn’t function and only served half the population. The new project will provide household taps to everyone, and will be designed to last. The photo above shows the staff of our Honduras partner inspecting the large spring that will likely be the source water for the new Lepaera project.
We are still working out the final details, but our current estimate is that Water 1st will be providing a $100,000+ loan next year to help 1,500 households in Lepaera build a new water system. The project will be a combination of grant funds from Water1st (about $150,000), a grant from local government (about $90,000) and a loan to be paid back over several years in monthly payments. The people of Lepaera and the local government are as excited as we are about the project. It means that they can build their water system sooner than they if Water1st had to raise funds for the entire cost of the system with a grant. When the loan is paid back, it will be used to finance additional projects in Honduras. To sum it up, everyone wins.
Loans in urban areas are easier and something we have done with our Bangladesh partner since 2006, but this is rare, or perhaps even unknown, for a rural area of Honduras.
We are very proud of the work of our Honduras partner, who have worked diligently for years to develop strong and trusting relationships with local people and government. We are also proud of the way our Honduras partner is constantly innovating and improving their work.
Thank you to Water1st donors whose consistent support, allowing our Honduras partner to retain qualified and experienced staff, make it possible for these kinds of innovations to develop.