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Building and rehabilitation of water systems and training on sanitation and hygiene in El Paraíso, Honduras


[El Paraiso Department, Guayabillas and Ojo de Agua communities (Municipality of Yuscarán), Plancitos 1 and Plancitos 2 communities (Municipality of Teupasenti). Honduras]

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Direct beneficiaries: 1,750 (545 children under 15 and 893 women). These are rural communities in the El Paraíso department.

Indirect beneficiaries: 3,917 (1,305 children under 15 and 1,995 women). Rural communities that attend the healthcare center located in the Ojo de Agua community, in the municipality of Yuscarán, among them the Guayabillas community. Likewise, the rehabilitation of the sanitation system will benefit people with disabilities or reduced mobility.


Start: Phase 1: April 1st, 2021; Phase 2: March 1st, 2022

Completion: Phase 1: September 30th, 2021; Phase 2: August 31st, 2022


Honduras has been one of the countries most affected by extreme weather events in the last ten years (hurricanes, floods, droughts, etc.). Furthermore, rural water and sanitation infrastructures have shortcomings that, combined with those natural disasters, result in the lack of adequate services for these communities. On the other hand, they also lack sufficient economic resources to provide solutions.

These communities are committed to protecting the environment, their water resources, and improving their hygiene habits. All this will allow them to reduce the impact these weather events have on their communities and will contribute to reducing the incidence of water, sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases.

In November 2020, the intensity of hurricanes Iota (cat. 5) and Eta (cat. 4) hit Central America. One of the most affected departments in Honduras was El Paraíso, where rivers overflowed, and landslides affected crops and infrastructures. In the Guayabillas community, the water supply system, which already presented difficulties due to its deterioration (it was built in the 1980s for less population), was affected. The pipe bringing water from the source in the El Pacayal stream and the distribution line of the storage tank to the houses were damaged by violent flooding.

Moreover, the water supply system of the Plancitos 1 and Plancitos 2 communities in the municipality of Teupasenti is more than 40 years old and therefore obsolete. In terms of basic sanitation, the communities, the educational center, and the healthcare center do not have adequate facilities, affecting the health, hygiene, and proper management of natural resources.

The project communities do not have access to safe water of sufficient quality and quantity to guarantee a service with the minimum standards required for the children and their families. The same situation exists regarding access to basic sanitation. Not all people, including schoolchildren attending the Ojo de Agua school and health center, have adequate sanitation facilities (safe, private, with needs differentiated by gender, limited mobility, etc.). This, together with poor hygiene habits, generates health risks for the population and therefore increases its vulnerability.


  • In general, to reduce the incidence of WASH-related diseases among children and their families in the most vulnerable communities.
  • Specifically, to rehabilitate the water systems and build and rehabilitate the toilets and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities.
  • Specifically, the facilities built and rehabilitated at the Guayabillas educational center are:
    1. A toilet for people with reduced mobility.
    2. A toilet for menstrual hygiene needs.
    3. A urinal for male users.
    4. Two gender-segregated toilets for the exclusive use of boys and girls.
    5. A handwashing station with the integration of people with reduced mobility
  • To empower communities for the sustainable management of water resources.


The project will be based on the rehabilitation of water systems and the construction and rehabilitation of toilets that will directly benefit 1,750 people. These building activities will be accompanied by training on the use and maintenance of the systems, hygiene promotion, and adequate management of micro-watersheds to ensure the sustainability of the intervention and the proper delivery to the communities. The municipal governments and beneficiary communities will provide local materials and labor.

The project will support the communities to develop mitigation plans to reduce the effects of extreme weather events and carry out actions to protect the micro-watersheds.

Families will be equipped with water conservation tools and inputs, and management practices and technologies that aim to protect, rehabilitate or maintain the integrity of the ecosystems within a defined collection area will be promoted. These practices may include native tree planting, erosion control, slope stabilization, and improved monitoring and early warning systems (water and forestry).

In year 1, the water system in the Guayabillas community, which was affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota, will be rehabilitated, benefitting 130 families. In year 2, the water system in Plancitos 1 and Plancitos 2 will be rehabilitated, benefitting 169 families. The sanitation works will help the most vulnerable families in these communities, children in the educational centers, and the Ojo de Agua health center.

The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Management Boards will organize the community to provide unskilled labor and training in the different WASH topics.

Faith leaders will be integrated into the training sessions to support the improvement of practices from a religious and community point of view. A specialized technician will make follow-up visits and provide the necessary technical advice to the communities, guaranteeing their ownership and sustainability.

The local government will be actively involved in the community development plans and support the works’ financing as a strategic partner. Children will be trained to lead and maintain practices that bring development and well-being to their community.

The civil works will be carried out under the management of professionals and technicians and following the We Are Water Foundation's Manual for the construction of latrines and wells. In addition, there are collaboration agreements with the municipalities and the National Autonomous Service of Aqueducts and Sewers (SANAA in Spanish), with technical and financial support.

For training, the project involves different community actors, which will allow for better coverage. Water administration boards and faith leaders will be trained on watershed management and formulate community action plans for watershed protection. The Healthy School and House (ESCASAL in Spanish) methodology will be implemented at the community and school level to promote hygiene, health and environmental, community, and school sanitation. In schools, the Sesame WASH UP! methodology will promote good WASH practices in an illustrative and interactive way.


Sustainability prospects

The participatory methodology gives the population tools to generate sustainability and ownership of development initiatives, facilitating community empowerment and empowering women, girls, and boys for territorial management, including water resource management. This will allow them to generate spaces where the whole community can express their opinions and ideas to present proposals for common improvement and decision-making.

The participation of faith leaders is essential in changing behaviors and practices because of the trust, support, and confidence they generate in the communities. The participation of girls and boys in all phases of the project enables them to increase their skills and become key players within and outside their communities.

Our partner, World Vision Honduras, has collaboration agreements and relationships with municipalities, government agencies such as SANAA, communities, and other key players as part of their strategy.

In the municipalities and villages of Yuscarán and Teupasenti, there are also some sponsorship programs and other projects in place that will allow us to obtain resources (technical, financial, labor, etc.) together with these community players.

The communities have formed water committees or boards that lead water management. These boards define the fees for the maintenance of the systems (supplies, plumbing, etc.) and the community training processes that make it possible to achieve behavioral changes and guarantee sustainability.

The project will ensure that all the systems to be built and rehabilitated have all the necessary elements for their proper functioning and provide technical support so that the communities can maintain them properly. The training of all community-based organizations will facilitate the appropriation and sustainability processes of the infrastructures and the adequate management of the basins in each of the communities.