Published on: 25/07/2022
"We want to guarantee the sustainability of systems. So we are implementing a training plan and technical assistance plan for all water boards to make sure they improve their administrative, operations and maintenance and life cycle costing skills."
- Sarahí Morales, Coordinator of the Intermunicipal Technical Unit of MAMCEPAZ
Many small municipalities in Honduras struggle to support water supplies in rural areas; they are simply too small to afford to provide technical services.
To overcome this, Water For People and IRC have been piloting the 'mancomunidad' model in three areas of the La Paz department. Under this model, mancomunidades – associations of municipalities – jointly establish a dedicated unit that carries out functions such as monitoring and providing technical support to water committees.
As a result, people like Sarahí Morales, who is a water and sanitation technician in La Paz, have been able to provide technical support to at least 117 water committees, have improved water quality management in 38 rural supply systems, and have worked on the review of tariffs of 17 water committees.
We see this as clear evidence that the mancomunidad model is effective in overcoming the scale limitations of municipalities in Honduras.
But this model also has some inherent challenges. For example, having the shared human resources still comes at a cost to the member municipalities, and it takes a lot of convincing to get the municipalities to agree to share those costs.
1 Number of partners, collaborations, or working groups with whom we worked closely on programme implementation in 2021.