The Perspective of SIRWASH:  Meeting the demands of rural water and sanitation

Within the framework of the “United for Water and Sanitation (Foro Unidos por el Agua y Saneamiento)” Forum organized by the Peruvian Ministry of Housing, Construction, and Sanitation (Ministerio de Vivienda, Construcción y Saneamiento), in partnership with various institutions, including Swiss Cooperation, a panel discussion titled “Meeting the Demands of Rural Water and Sanitation (Atendiendo las demandas de Agua y Saneamiento rural)” was held. The panel featured Jhoni Atoccsa Morales, Vice President of the Association of Municipalities of Peru (Asociación de Municipalidades del Perú); Alcides Cusihuamán, District Mayor of Chichero (Cusco); Marilú Culqui Ruiz, President of the Human Settlement Sector of Pacacocha (Pucallpa); Javier Moreno, a consultant for public services and solid waste management; Tali Sabio Piuk, an indigenous Apu leader of the Awajún people (Amazonas); and Cesarina Quintana, the LAC coordinator of the SIRWASH Program. The moderation was handled by Víctor Cabrera, responsible for Monitoring of the Comprehensive Rural Water and Sanitation Program (Programa Integral de Agua y Saneamiento Rural) at the Ministry of Housing, Construction, and Sanitation.

The panel discussion revolved around the presentation by Mrs. Quintana, who emphasized the importance of comprehensive interventions, with particular attention to the quality and sustainability of water and sanitation services. The moderator encouraged the discussion, aligning the content with the development of the National Multisectoral Water and Sanitation Plan (Plan Nacional Multisectorial de Agua y Saneamiento) of the Ministry of Housing.

Among the key points highlighted during the panel, the importance of developing clear financial policies, including rates and subsidies, for populations unable to afford the costs were emphasized, with special attention to sustainability, integrated water resource management, and disaster risk prevention, especially in the face of climate change. The panellists agreed on the importance of the involvement of all stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector, with integrated interventions and sustainable, quality services. Here are some highlights from their contributions:

Jhoni Atoccsa emphasized that, while municipalities play a crucial role in addressing these issues, they often struggle with limited budgets. He mentioned the need to reevaluate investment models and improve the distribution of resources to ensure that municipalities can provide quality water and sanitation services to their communities.

Alcides Cusihuamán, on the other hand, shared his community’s experience in addressing sanitation issues, highlighting the importance of social participation and sustainable projects. He discussed the challenges they face during drought periods and the need to involve communities and local authorities in improving the quality and access to water services.

Then, Marilú Culqui Ruiz mentioned the challenges they face with stalled sanitation projects and the lack of budgetary support from local authorities. She emphasized the importance of completing these projects to improve public health and well-being, particularly in terms of waterborne disease treatment.

In a virtual connection, Javier Moreno emphasized the importance of integrated interactions and quality sustainable services in the context of water and sanitation. He stressed the need to establish long-term policies and differential approaches, particularly in rural and peri-urban areas. He also highlighted the role of community participation in achieving water management goals and urged the design of a comprehensive agenda that addresses the country’s diverse realities. “Working together to ensure access to water and sanitation for all communities, including rural areas,” he emphasized.

Finally, Tali Sabio Piuk shared the challenges facing her people, such as anaemia, diarrhoea, and parasites, and emphasized the importance of access to clean water and sanitation for human life. She urged that attention be given to all communities lacking these services.

You can watch the panel’s presentations and discussions in the video shared below.

Panel “Meeting the Demands of Rural Water and Sanitation (Atendiendo las demandas de Agua y Saneamiento rural)

Related news:

Note [Coordinating efforts to bridge the gap in rural areas] A proposal from the SIRWASH experience

Useful links:
Fact Sheet SIRWASH Servicios Sostenibles e Innovadores de Agua, Saneamiento e Higiene en zonas rurales
Fact Sheet SIRWASH – BID

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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.