Almost everyone who visits the Getsemaní community immediately notices the communal water spouts. Women and children carry large buckets on their heads, wait in line to fill them up and haul them back their houses—and then repeat this arduous journey over and over again. We are pleased to announce that families in the Getsemaní community can now access potable water in their own homes!
Running water, along with other basic infrastructure, has long been only a dream for the families in Getsemaní. When they first began to move to the area in the early 1990s, they were essentially building their shacks in the middle of a field devoid of all services. The community formed a board of directors in 1997 and decided that they must first install a communal water spout.
In 2007, the Getsemaní Board of Directors began to work with ANDA (the national public water and sanitation company) and the municipal government on providing residential potable water. ANDA oversaw the excavation of the well, and families worked together to install the grid of water pipes across the community.
On Wednesday, May 5th, the mayor of Ahauchapán joined community members in a special ceremony to celebrate the inauguration of this exciting project. Families are now able to access running water on an individual basis. They must first have the Public Health Unit approve their tanks and gray water and sanitation systems and then pay ANDA an installation fee. To date, 50 families have gained access to potable water in their homes.
−Habitat El Salvador Team