Community water managers seek strengthening and development

San Jose, Costa Rica (September 1st, 2014) — To achieve greater recognition and strengthen community water management is one of the objectives of the that will bring together more than 400 managers from 15 countries, in San Carlos, Costa Rica.

Representatives from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica will attend the meeting to be held from September 9 to 11.

The meeting is organized by various community organizations in the region and has the support of several NGOs, including and Habitat for Humanity International.

Community water management in Latin America, developed over 40 years ago, is currently represented by 80,000 organizations that provide services to more than 70 million people. This model, widely used in the region, covers on average between 20 and 40% of the inhabitants of each country.

The Water and Sanitation Services Community Organizations (OCSAS) with different names in the region: ASADAS, boards, cooperatives, committees, among others, provide essential water access services and help the citizens involved in their creation and administration to acquire crucial skills for better management at local level.

The impact of these organizations in developing countries, although undeniable, could be higher if they enjoyed social and political recognition as key actors in local development, and if they had innovative financial mechanisms to increase funding to improve and expand their systems and the quality of services they provide.

“This type of management is very important for Habitat for Humanity because we seek to facilitate safe water access to families and communities as a key factor to the livability, functionality and suitability of housing and settlements”, said Eric Solera, Community Development Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The organizers hope that this meeting will be a catalyst for improved organization, cohesion and strengthening of community water management at country level and across the region.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people (750,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean) construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976.