In Argentina, we collaborate closely with communities to promote the right to water and enhance its accessibility for consumption, health, and hygiene. Together with local partners (e.g., INTA and Ente Regulador de Salta), school staff, government officials, and volunteers, we engage in various activities to raise awareness, provide training, and develop water solutions at both the household and educational levels. Our work is guided by four key principles: 1) ensuring water quality through research, 2) promoting education on prevention, health, and hygiene, 3) implementing appropriate technologies for infrastructure and filtration, and 4) empowering communities for self-management and community impact. Lastly, Fundacion Aguas directly contributes to 9 of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (With a focus on clean water and sanitation).
To illustrate one example of how we make a positive impact, we wanted to share our work related to one of our main areas of focus (Infastructure & technology):
Due to extreme droughts and poor infrastructure, the province of Chaco in Argentina struggles for access to safe and clean water. When we examined the groundwater from some schools in the region, we discovered a concerning concentration of arsenic, measuring 0.25 mg/L. The consumption of arsenic in water is associated with a disease called Endemic Regional Chronic Hydroarsenicism (HACRE), which is characterized by the presence of skin lesions and cancerous and non-cancerous systemic alterations.
To provide the school with a safe source of water, we have developed a rainwater harvesting solution. This system includes a pre-filter module and leverages natural resources to offer an economical and ecologically friendly solution. Not only does this harvesting system have a low maintenance cost, but it also requires minimal training. Over the last year, we have built 3 seperate systems that have served close to 1,000 childnren.