GoAL WaSH El Salvador
- Improved water management in the Torola River Basin, and enhanced quality of life of its residents, especially women.
- Local capacities strengthened to ensure protection of water resources in the Torola River Basin.
El Salvador is the only Central American country with a trend very close to a situation of water stress. Due to social and economic development, water demand is steadily increasing, resulting in significant pressure on the water resource.
The people living in the Torola River Basin region of El Salvador are facing many problems related to water; lack of or very limited access, poor water quality which causes health problems, an unsustainable management of the resource which threatens its viability in the future and a low social participation in the decision making.
The Torola River Basin has been declared a “territorial pilot”, where water governance is being strengthened to improve water conditions for the population. This pilot initiative is linked with the water governance structures at national level, and is recognized and approved by the national government, and is in its way to be integrated into the public policy.
The project has adopted a two pronged approach, combining the strengthening of local actors’ capacities to manage water in an integrated way (software component), with a fund for investments in water infrastructure (hardware component), to ensure that new infrastructure is adequately managed and water access is sustainable over time. Moreover, awareness raising campaigns have been carried out for rural citizens, increasing their understanding of rights and how they can participate in and exert control over water management.
Social Audit Manual: http://watergovernance.org/resources/social-audit-manual/
The project has given priority to the capacity development and engagement of local actors in spaces for dialogue and participation. Awareness raising among the citizens about the importance of the initiative, has resulted in great involvement and commitment at local level. As a result of this, the economic contribution from the municipalities to improve water conditions in the area has surpassed the support given by the project, even triplicating the investment granted.
Furthermore, the project has been able to establish mechanisms for improved transparency, accountability and efficiency in water management at local level. A micro-regional transparency committee has been established in one of the municipalities of the Torola River Basin. This Committee aims to focus on finding ways to include transparency and accountability when planning, designing and implementing water management policies at a micro-regional level. Mayors, health, education and environmental officers are members of the Committee.