Published on: 27/05/2022
Many small municipalities in Honduras struggle to support water supplies in rural areas; they are simply too small to afford having capacity in place to provide technical services.
To overcome this limitation, Water For People and IRC have been piloting what is referred to as 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, amongst others, functions such as monitoring and technical support to water committees.
As a result, a person like Sarahi Morales, who is a water and sanitation technician in La Paz, has been able to provide technical support to at least 117 water committees, improved water quality management in 38 rural supply systems, and worked on the review of tariffs of 17 water committees.
We consider that this is first evidence that the mancomunidad model is effective in improving services and overcoming scale limitations of municipalities in Honduras. Nevertheless, also this model has some inherent challenges. For example, having the shared human resources still comes at a cost to the member municipalities. And it requires a lot of convincing to municipalities to share those costs.