In Latin America, over 40 million people in rural and peri-urban communities have access to water and sanitation thanks to the services provided by more than 80,000 community water and sanitation organizations (Organizaciones Comunitarias de Servicios de Agua y Saneamiento – OCSAS). The World Bank Water and Sanitation Program estimates that this type of management has the potential to provide services to at least another 18 million people, if properly supported and developed by civil society, governments, and the private sector.
Along with an increasing number of allies, Fundación Avina works to support and strengthen community efforts to expand access to safe water by bringing visibility to the cause and helping to build relationships across sectors.
Social groups, businesses, and governments have joined forces with us, along with hundreds of local allies and thousands of community organizations throughout the region, including the recently formed Confederación Latinoamericana de Organizaciones Comunitarias de Servicios de Agua y Saneamiento (Latin American Confederation of Community Water and Sanitation Organizations – CLOCSAS). We have developed a leadership training program based on best practices compiled from across Latin America that has helped to build the capacity of community leaders to administer, operate, and maintain local water systems. The training program has been implemented in 11 countries throughout the continent, in coordination with government agencies, academic institutions, the private sector, and civil society organizations.
Fundación Avina goes to great lengths to increase awareness of the vital contributions of community water management organizations to development in their countries. When decision-makers are made aware of the critical role these organizations play, concrete actions to support them usually follow. For example, in Ecuador, community water organizations are now actively participating in the creation of public policies to govern the community water sector.