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27 de September de 2018PROMADEC: More water, more life
1img - PROMADEC: More water, more life

Indigenous community members in the province of Azuay, in the south of Ecuador, still recall how difficult it was to access clean water.

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They had to walk more than a mile from their homes, through narrow, winding paths in the Andes at altitudes of over 9,000 feet above sea level in order to reach the nearest fountain and get some clean water. The entire process took more than two hours every day, but they had to do it in order to cook, bathe, and stay hydrated. 

Today’s reality is very different thanks to the construction of regional drinking water systems, which supply water to more than 1,400 people from indigenous communities in Rodeo, Granadillas, Chunazana Huatucloma, Pie de Ramada, Laurín and Rosas de Shiña, directly in their homes through reliable and efficient systems, which allow them to devote more time to other activities such as agriculture, livestock, and raising their children.

These projects were built as part of the Environmental Sanitation Program for Community Development (PROMADEC) and funded by CAF-development bank of Latin America-, and have expanded access to basic utilities such as basic water and sanitation services, urban drainage, and integrated solid waste management, thereby contributing to the reduction of poverty, social inequalities and improving the quality of life in rural communities.

Todo el proceso les tomaba más de 2 horas al día, pero era necesario para poder cocinar, asearse o hidratarse. Hoy su realidad es muy diferente.
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During the first three phases, PROMADEC has funded over 600 projects nationwide in the past 10 years, covering virtually all municipalities in the country, with investments of USD 775 million.  The funds are disbursed by CAF and executed by the Development Bank of Ecuador EP, and have helped close the gaps in the provision of public utilities, especially across the most vulnerable populations.

PROMADEC has helped improve the conditions of life, health and social inclusion of the inhabitants of rural and urban areas of Ecuador, not only with resources for infrastructure, but for the development of a sustainable model.” The project has funded, for instance, final design studies, oversight for development of construction projects and studies, and includes amounts for investments in institutional strengthening,” explained Bernardo Requena, CAF representative in Ecuador .

Despite the progress being made, one of the sector’s greatest challenges is still strengthening the capacities of municipal governments and institutional operators to improve quality, efficiency and sustainability in the provision of services. This is precisely one of the goals of PROMADEC Phase IV, which is currently being finalized, and has CAF funding on the order of USD 100 million for 124 projects in several decentralized autonomous governments. Around 24% of the loan funds are earmarked for drinking water projects; 22% for urban drainage; 45% for sewerage and waste water treatment projects; and 9% for integral solid waste management, benefitting approximately 250,000 people.

Más de 1.400 personas reciben agua directamente en sus hogares mediante sistemas confiables y eficientes
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Byron Ruiz, general manager of the Ecuador Development Bank EP, explained that the institution has worked with PROMADEC within the “Water and Sanitation For All” Macro-Program, which has deployed sizeable economic resources for the benefit of the decentralized autonomous governments, in order to expand coverage and access to drinking water, storm water sewerage and solid waste management services to improve Ecuadorian living conditions.

Despite important efforts to reach universal water supply and sewerage services, there is still a backlog in closing coverage gaps, as a major difference remains between urban and rural populations, and between coastal and mountain areas. Another major challenge that needs to be addressed is improving the quality of water and sewerage services, and achieving technical and financial sustainability of the existing infrastructure. In order to contribute to the success of the water projects, part of CAF’s agenda is to support the main stakeholders in these areas on issues of regulation, institutional strengthening and capacity building. 

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