The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a grant for $7.5 million from the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean to provide drinking water and sanitation services to more than 3,500 rural and indigenous households in Panama.
At present, 59 percent of the population in the project area has potable water and 24 percent has sanitation services. According to 2010 estimates, these percentages are well below the national averages.
The program will finance 44 new potable water systems and 3,533 new sanitation solutions.
The beneficiary communities were consulted from the design stages of the project to better understand their needs. These communities will also be consulted during the execution stages, giving them a sense of ownership and empowerment of the construction works. The program will be carried out in the districts of Guna de Wargandí, Cémaco, and Sambu/EmberáWounnan, in Darien Province; the districts of Chimán and Guna de Madugandí, in the Panama Este region; and in the district of GunaYala.
When completed, the project is expected to increase potable water coverage in these areas from 59 percent to 99 percent; and of sanitation, from 24 percent to 65 percent.