The fight for water access in El Salvador

80% of the country is under water stress, and more than 60% of the available water is polluted.

A Salvadoran woman collects water by foot in El Salvador.
A Salvadoran woman collects water by foot in El Salvador. [Photo: Sally Jabiel]

In El Salvador, the most densely populated country in Central America, more than 600,000 people do not have access to drinking water or sanitation service. Seventy-eight percent of the country’s river waters are polluted, and people in rural areas – especially women – are risking their lives travelling by foot to collect water from rivers because the state is not providing them with water service. The government has passed a new water law promising to improve water access, but many activists say the law is really about privatising the service.

In this episode: 

  • Sally Jabiel (@sallyjabiel), freelance journalist for Planeta Futuro/El País
  • Miguel Gutiérrez (@WorldVisionSV), global water, sanitation, & hygiene coordinator for World Vision in El Salvador

Episode credits:

This episode was produced by Ney Alvarez, with Ruby Zaman, Negin Owliaei, Amy Walters, Alexandra Locke, and Malika Bilal. Jessica Weiss translated this episode. The Take’s sound designer is Alex Roldan. Cheryl Ottenritter mixed this episode. The Take’s engagement producers are Aya Elmileik and Adam Abou-Gad.

Special thanks to Manuel Rapalo, and Imaeyen Ibanga.

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Source: Al Jazeera