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Final Total

£ 56,000











Project recap:The indigenous people of Honduras’ Mosquitia region struggled to access clean water during the dry season. Skin complaints among the women were common due to their practice of washing laundry standing waist-deep in the lagoon. This project provided rainwater collectors, eco-laundries and sanitation education to help the residents lead healthier lives.


The results: Rainwater harvesting tanks have been installed to provide a safe, reliable source of water for 80 families in five communities. The same communities have also received an eco-laundry to improve their health and environment. Eighty community leaders have been trained in good hygiene and sanitation practices.


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how has this project made a difference?


For Efigenia, dirty water used to make her life in Cocobila on the Mosquitia Coast a daily struggle.


‘We spent several summers taking water from small wells (only one foot deep) on the edges of the lagoon,’ she says. ‘The water is reddish and salty.’ The community members had to dig many of these shallow wells to try to meet their water needs – but danger was lurking beneath the surface.


‘I would normally feel unwell because the taste of the water sickened me,’ Efigenia remembers. ‘Sometimes the children had diarrhoea, mostly when they went to school and drank water directly from the wells.’


When Mopawi began talking to the community about safe water, they all agreed that a way of collecting clean water was a necessity. Since then, Mopawi staff have worked with the community to install a rainwater harvesting tank with a capacity of 5,000 litres.


Efigenia has seen a remarkable change in her community since the start of the project. ‘We are in a better spirits because our stomachs no longer hurt after drinking water,’ she says. The improvement can literally be seen in the colour of the food they cook: ‘The rice, yuca [cassava] and green bananas used to get dark every time we cooked them in the past,’ she remembers. ‘Now they look different.’


‘We are very happy!’ Efigenia says. ‘Thank God that this project chose our neighbourhood. God has heard our prayers and helped us.’


what did the project achieve?


Scores of people like Efigenia are now feeling the benefits of cleaner water and healthier lives.


·         Clean water: Five rainwater collector tanks have been installed in five communities, providing safe, clean water for 80 families.

·         Eco-laundry facilities: Five eco-laundries have been installed, meaning that 100 families now have access to a safe, environmentally friendly way of washing their clothes. There are already reports that the skin complaints that women previously suffered with are disappearing, as they no longer need to wash their laundry in the lagoon.

·         Sanitation education: Eighty community leaders have been trained in basic hygiene and sanitation, including managing water use in the home and the importance of hand-washing.


what impact will this have in the future?


This project has been designed with sustainability in mind and should provide clean water and sanitation facilities for the communities for years to come. Forty community leaders have been trained to install and operate the water tanks. The beneficiaries have agreed to contribute a small monthly fee towards the maintenance of the eco-laundries. The amount of soap used by the eco-laundries is much less than that required for washing clothes in the lagoon, meaning families will also feel financial benefits.


Although it is early days as yet, in the future it is hoped that the lagoon’s environment will improve through the use of the eco-laundries.

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