ASIR SABA the water project that seeks to generate peace in rural Colombia

The ASIR SABA Rural Water and Sanitation proposal, led by the Swiss Embassy in Colombia, Humanitarian Aid and Development - (COSUDE), seeks to promote sustainable development actions in the water and sanitation sector, in articulation with some communities in territories that do not have water services suitable for human consumption, so that, jointly, peace is built in the territories and a society of opportunities is promoted to close social gaps.

This is why SDC, together with the ASIR-SABA Colombia project, seeks to improve the living conditions of rural inhabitants who are victims of the armed conflict, unemployment, poverty, lack of education and the segregation of their ancestral cultures that embeds them in social inequality; using a sustainability model that includes communities in decision-making to diagnose the areas and select the most appropriate technologies that guarantee aqueduct coverage so that more families, people and territories can enjoy drinking water.

In principle, this project was implemented in Peru for 20 years. Due to its success in that country and in recognition of the problems experienced by many communities in Colombia, SDC decided to adapt and implement it in rural areas of Colombia.

Benefited areas in Colombia

The geographical location of the ASIR-SABA project, which is in its second phase, includes 6 departments; in the Pacific zone is: Valle del Cauca, Cauca and Nariño, and in the northern zone of the country: La Guajira, Antioquia and Boyacá. The municipalities of the mentioned departments, where ASIR-SABA is being directly implemented, are Buenaventura, Buga, Trujillo, Caloto, Santander de Quilichao, Corinto, Tumaco, Manaure, Thames, Jericho, Fredonia, Pueblorrico, Montebello, Caramanta, Gámeza and Mongua.

These municipalities have been characterized by large gaps in access to water and basic sanitation, quality education, health, high unemployment rates, and in some cases, extreme poverty. They have also been historically affected by the armed conflict. Given this reality, ASIR-SABA intends to contribute to the construction of a stable and lasting peace, improving the quality of life of rural inhabitants, contributing through mechanisms that will guarantee and/or improve aqueducts and sewage systems for the benefited population.

In several of the territories, due to this reality about access to water, leaders are born who have worked for their communities for years, to help somehow to satisfy the basic needs. Given this panorama, the project articulates joint efforts to develop alternatives on the need for treatment systems that guarantee water suitable for community consumption.

In other words, it supports the existing ideas of the inhabitants who have acted as leaders and cooperates in improving infrastructure to achieve the objective it has set itself from the outset, which is to ensure the provision of water and basic sanitation.

ASIR-SABA understands the importance of these spaces and is committed to them, because it understands that strengthening communities will generate sustainability of aqueducts over time.

Therefore, as a management model, four key concepts are rescued: community, quality of life, water and peace, because although the project focuses on the natural resource of water, it also aims to show the community how to manage this precious resource properly.

ASIR-SABA is a passion for those who execute the project, because they value the communities, they yearn and seek a peaceful Colombia, they want to impact in a way that creates processes over time, in turn, that this is a model to follow for future generations.