Living Water’s work in Nicaragua began in 2004, serving communities with safe water through a combination of borehole drilling, rehabilitation of existing water points, and maintenance of our past water projects. Most of these communities are located in four departments: León, Somotillo, Granada, and Rivas. In 2015, the program launched the country’s first WASH Program Area (WPA) in the municipality of Tola within Rivas.
Living Water Nicaragua has many years of experience in the WASH sector and is a highly respected organization in the country. We have a highly engaged and committed staff who see their work as more than a job. This work is our ministry; it is our mission. In addition, Living Water Nicaragua has a unique system of hand pumps in the country with stainless steel piping, which are under constant monitoring through service visits to ensure the effective functioning of water points, as well as the quality of water. Also, Living Water Nicaragua contributes to empower the community leadership to take responsibility of their water points through the operation and maintenance program based on the Nicaraguan legal framework.
We work in several different geographical areas, using contextually appropriate interventions. Whether we are drilling new wells, maintaining wells through our operation and maintenance program, building capacity at the community level as part of Living Water’s sustainability framework. or implementing our hygiene and sanitation programs, Living Water Nicaragua is committed to addressing the physical WASH needs of the Nicaraguans that we serve. However, there is also a spiritual need that Living Water Nicaragua recognizes. We believe that communities will be strengthened as they utilize a biblical worldview perspective. This perspective helps people to see how God views people in this world, the problems in this world, governments in this world, issues in this world, solutions for the problems in this world, and the future of this world. Living Water Nicaragua believes the appropriate role to play in this area is to mobilize and support the existing local church.
Living Water Nicaragua envisions becoming an impactful NGO in the WASH sector, contributing to the physically and spiritually transformation of the lives of community members through sustainable WASH services, church mobilization, and the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Living Water Nicaragua currently works in Somotillo, Léon, Granada, and Tola. By 2019, we will phase out of the Tola WPA, and shift to a new location, still to be determined.
Living Water Nicaragua addresses safe water needs through equipping households and communities with drilled wells and rehabilitations. In the Granada and Léon program areas, we host volunteers from the United States through Living Water Trips—providing a hands-on experience alongside our skilled national staff to bring water to thirsty communities.
The program has also begun incorporating other appropriate water solutions, alternatives to non-mechanized boreholes, through which the program utilizes simple, low-cost technologies that enable communities to fully participate in decision-making, assist in installation, and be responsible for future operation and maintenance of these projects. The delivery of an acceptable level of service, can take many forms in terms of water solution or water technology. In areas where populations are scattered, a hand-dug well with a rope pump can be done when appropriate, but in denser areas, a larger-scale system like an electric pump mini-aqueduct, gravity-fed system, or spring water catchment system may be installed as long as the solution is aligned with local and regional integrated water resource management.
Living Water Nicaragua seeks to intentionally involve the local church with sanitation and hygiene promotion through the development and implementation of church-based care groups. In this model, church members and community members together promote hygiene throughout the community and through church service, community meetings, household visits, etc. This process is being used in the Tola WASH Program Area, and involves meeting with local leaders in the community to present the program and gain their support; meeting with the community and recruit volunteers; conducting a baseline survey to know the status of the community’s current hygiene practices; and training the volunteers on a hygiene curriculum that meets the needs of the community. These volunteers will then go out to their communities and work with approximately 6-10 households twice a month, teaching them the lessons they have learned and adopted. Living Water Nicaragua will then meet with the volunteers twice a month for approximately 9-12 months to monitor the volunteers and give support. An evaluation will be held at the end of the program.
In Granada and Léon, hygiene promotion sessions are held at all new well sites by a Living Water Nicaragua hygiene trainer and Living Water Trip participants. The sessions are given during the construction of the well, and cover topics such as proper handwashing, how to keep the water clean, how to stop the transmission of germs, good and bad hygiene, and more.
The commitment of the Church is very important to see meaningful, sustainable change in communities. Likewise, Living Water seeks to walk alongside local churches to fulfill its mission to be salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-16), giving glory to God through the work carried out for the benefit of their area. Church engagement is the intentional and planned activities Living Water Nicaragua implements with the local church which are designed to trigger change in the communities through the church. This is a vital piece of Living Water’s vision to provide “water, for life, in Jesus’ name.”
Additionally, through Living Water trip participants, the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared through Bible stories with mothers and children, personal conversations, and partnering with local churches and pastors for the well dedications. When available, Living Water Nicaragua and the trip participants distribute Spanish Bibles to adults within the community we served.
To learn more about supporting our work here—such as equipment, water projects, or our entire program area, please contact your local Living Water Representative.
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