WASH In Guatemala
Article by Abigael Siecinski
Two major hurricanes swept across Central America in a period of less than two weeks in November of 2020. Hurricanes Iota and Eta impacted the lives of more than 7.3 million people. Heavy rains caused landslides and flooding that demolished infrastructure, homes, and schools. In rural and remote areas, the loss of schools was particularly devastating. A year-and-a-half later, the effects are still widespread and apparent.
Brother’s Brother Foundation, in partnership with All Hands and Hearts, has focused a response in the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala. In Alta Verapaz, 83% of the population lives in poverty and the community lacks access to clean drinking water. Almost half of the children under five years of age are stunted due to malnutrition. As part of our WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Program, which aims to reduce water-borne illness and increase access to clean water, BBF and All Hands and Hearts is installing water and sanitation infrastructure at the Monja Blanca Elementary School in Alta Verapaz.
Our project will install toilets, hand washing stations, rainwater harvesting equipment, and a water filtration system at the Monja Blanca school. It will also provide community-based training to focus on personal hygiene and maintenance of the new infrastructure. With access to clean drinking water, these new facilities will reduce illness throughout the village. Additionally, by providing reliable access to private hygiene and sanitation facilities, girls will have the opportunity to confidently stay in school throughout their menstrual cycles.
At BBF, we believe all these types of basic amenities should be available to every student and individual around the world. Until that day, we will continue to work, one project at a time, to bridge gaps for those in need and create sustainable change.