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“Safe water” changes lives and improves health for 1,700 residents of Honduras’ dry corridor

As the result of some basic training, the residents managed to adopt the technology without difficulties. Residents use the equipment from three to seven day per week. It takes between two to six hours for water to purify using the solar ray system taught.

Lack of potable drinking water and poor basic sanitation has been a constant threat to vulnerable communities along the Honduran dry corridor. Today, that situation changed for 1,700 inhabitants of Cedritos and La Laguna villages in Santiago Puringla, La Paz. The project “Access to quality water using solar energy” which has been driven for 20 months by Zamorano and the European Union, changed the life and improved health conditions for children, youngsters, and adults in163 homes.

This innovative solution for safe water consumption has allowed the communities to have access to technology for water heating and purification with the addition of a Solvatten solar filter. Now, the families have quality drinking water for cooking and for personal hygiene. The positive impact is reflected in the decrease of stomach diseases, diarrhea, and skin infections, especially in children, pregnant women and the elderly. In addition to accomplishing better well-being and health for the population of the two communities, this initiative improved the economic situation and family budgets, and reduced environmental damage to the area.

Through this initiative, 170 purifiers were distributed to 163 homes and seven were distributed to health centers, a school, and a nutritional training center in the area. In addition to the delivery of the Solvatten solar filters, a total of 190 family members were trained and received a supplementary kit to water-purifying alternatives. Other benefits included a physical, chemical and microbiological analysis of the community´s water. The results showed the impact of the filter technology and allowed for the planning of short and medium term actions with the Water Board.

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Solvatten water filter equipment provides a sustainable alternative by using solar energy as a resource for water purification, It provides an inexhaustible source of energy and is environmentally friendly. It also contributes to social development by benefitting communities. Impacts include a reduction in the incidence of diarrheal diseases and the improvement to family diets as a result of food preparation with safe water. This type of technology helps create awareness at the community level as well as among authorities charged with the community’s well-being.

Opportunities for COVID-19

According to the Solvattan project managers, the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic meant a delay in the delivery of this innovative solution.  However, plans are in place to take the proper biosecurity measures, and intervention (above all, training) with small groups of beneficiaries will be planned.

Due to the positive impact of these biosecurity measures, the need for the use of safe water for consumption and hand and food washing was further highlighted, thus optimizing the use of Solvatten.

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