What We Do

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Drinking Water Projects
Nicaragua is a very poor Central American country whose rural population, like that of many other third world nations, suffers from contaminated water supplies. Current estimates are that 50% of rural Nicaraguans do not have access to safe drinking water. We help rural villages build their own gravity flow drinking water systems that will provide clean water for generations.

Improved sanitation is at least as important as clean water in improving community health. We provide the materials and training to help each family in the community build their own latrine as part of our work.

Health Education
The bulk of infant disease and death in Nicaragua is due directly or indirectly to water-born bacteria, viruses and parasites. Our health team works with all of the APLV communities, providing workshops and training that promote health and hygiene. Their work includes school programs, adult programs, and house visits with each family.

Watershed Conservation
Nicaragua is among the most biologically diverse regions on the planet. Once host to 9,000 different species of trees and plants, Nicaragua has lost approximately fifty percent of its forest cover since 1950 and with it much of its biological diversity. This deforestation, a result of logging and clearing the land for agriculture, has had a profound effect on the quality and quantity of drinking water. Typically, landowners burn their land seasonally, resulting in a loss of nutrients, a loss of soil stability (landslides are seen all over the Nicaraguan landscape), and a loss of plant and animal diversity. Cattle wade into streams and springs, destroy stream banks, erode the watershed soils, and contaminate the water with their waste. APLV works with communities to reforest their watershed, protect the watershed from the impacts of burning and cattle, and to educated landowners on sustainable land management.

Technical Training
APLV currently works in a single region of Nicaragua, but the need for water projects is much greater. To help meet this need, APLV operates a work-study technical school to train Nicaraguan students in all aspects of drinking water projects including engineering, project management, accounting and surveying as well as developing computer skills. Graduates have gone on to work both for APLV and other water organizations, but their training offers them a number of useful employment opportunities in addition to water development. All of the technical staff of our center, including its technical director, are graduates of our school.