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Safe, Clean Water Improves Community Health in Honduras  

Until a year and a half ago, families living in Guayaman, Honduras, were tormented by sickness. Though water is plentiful in this region of western Honduras, it is often unsafe to drink. Unfortunately, for people like Onan Aguilar Contreras, using water from contaminated sources was the only option.  

Onan and his family no longer have to drink contaminated water and suffer from water-related illnesses.

“Our life was very difficult,” recalls the father of four, “since we drank water that caused many illnesses in our home—including diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.”  

Guayaman is in the Intibucá Department, which has one of the highest percentages of extreme poverty in Honduras. Residents could not afford to purchase water from the town several kilometers away. At approximately $1 for five gallons (nearly 20 liters), clean, safe water was simply out of reach for Onan. He was left to helplessly watch his children suffer from water-related illnesses. 

Now, thanks to Safe Water Western Honduras, a joint initiative between Water Mission and the Pentair Foundation, families in Guayaman no longer suffer from a lack of safe water. We have worked together to implement safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions in this community and others across the region. 

“We’ve had no stomach diseases since my whole family drinks the safe water and uses it for cooking and cleaning,” said Onan, who is overjoyed to see his children thriving. “This magnificent project came to make a change in our lives, improving the health of my family and neighbors.” 

Handwashing stations at the safe water distribution point encourage proper hygiene in Guayaman. 

Now, families in Guayaman can visit the water distribution point in their own community. Not only do they have clean, safe water to drink, but they are also taking full ownership of their new water source. To ensure the project’s sustainability, we have partnered with the community. This means forming a local Safe Water Committee and training these leaders to oversee operations.   

Since it was established in November 2019, the water system in Guayaman has produced more than 114,000 gallons (430,000 liters) of safe water for the people who live there. Now, Water Mission is handing the project over completely to the community’s capable Safe Water Committee. By working with the community throughout the process, residents’ lives have transformed to a position of empowerment and hope.  

Our work in Guayaman is part of the larger Safe Water Western Honduras Project in the Intibucá and Lempira Departments. To date, this initiative has reached more than 43,000 people with clean, safe water access and provided sanitation facilities for nearly 3,000 families.  

Station attendants fill five-gallon jugs, load them onto ox-drawn carts, and deliver them to homes throughout the community.  

Working together, Water Mission and Pentair are providing best-in-class safe water solutions. Our goal is to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goal Six: ensuring that safe water is available and sustainable for all people by 2030.  

This is an enormous undertaking, but with God’s provision and the generous partners like Pentair who choose to come alongside us, we can end the global water crisis. Join us in this effort by visiting watermission.org/get-involved 

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