Water Shortage in Rural Communities Persists
The lack of modern water systems combined with arid weather is a significant threat to many rural communities. There is a current nationwide water shortage in numerous villages. The Ministry of Rural Transformation says the issue is caused by wells running dry and has since stepped in to provide water to the affected communities with the use of water bowsers. However, the CEO of the Ministry, Valentino Shal, says that tackling the issue comes with many hurdles.
Valentino Shal, CEO, Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government: “We do notice of course in general everybody knows that the northern part of the country is a lot drier, receives less rainfall than the south of the country and so we found this challenge becoming a lot more clearer and a lot more prevalent in the north of the country but the south isn’t spared either. I mean right now today we’re conducting Geo-resistivity surveys in San Isidro which is pretty much down south right after Bella Vista. One of the things we are doing is bringing in the use of technology as in the Geo-resistivity surveys which is sort of a seismic instrument that we use to detect water under ground so we can find the water. But also we are looking at how to identify new sources of water. We do have a lot of rivers as you can see working together with the Ministry of Sustainable Development upgrading systems that are dependent on surface water like rivers in Santa Familia so we have to look at changing from groundwater wells to perhaps surface water like rivers. And of course working together with the national company BWS to begin to address these challenges. As you can imagine as urban spaces grow, as rural communities grow they all sort of begin to merge. The distinction between urban and rural become less pronounced and so we have to begin to address the needs of the communities in that way but as it pertains to water we have to look at making sure we can provide water from multiple sources for larger population centers as well. We have been reducing them slowly. These things are very expensive. I think we have so far built four or five new water systems and we are working with at least five or six communities to electrify them using solar mini grids in partnership with the Department of Energy and international partners like the EU.”