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A Community’s Long Journey to Clean Water

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WRITTEN BY Abby Ryckman

How long do you go in a day without using water? Whether it’s for hydration, hygiene, chores, or a hobby, you likely use water freely throughout your day. But what would it be like to not have regular access to water? For the community of La Uva, Nicaragua, that was their daily reality.

“Water has been a problem for a long time,” Osmin, a leader of the community, shares. 

The community struggled to meet their basic needs and stay healthy, which a lack of clean water made even more difficult. Children often spent long hours searching for water. Their futures were put on hold as they tried to meet their needs day to day.


The Search for a Solution

La Uva once had plenty of water. But when a road was reconstructed, the pipeline to their water source was removed and never replaced. Several community members tried to report the issue and find the piping, but nothing happened. 

Eventually, local authorities dug a well for the community, but it dried up when there wasn’t enough rain. “People had to wait until very early in the morning to have water, even if it was just to drink. It was a very difficult situation,” Osmin says. 

“I had never prayed for this project,” Rosibel, a community member adds, “until one day I felt so overwhelmed by the water situation that I prayed for it. Then the project came up.”

Inauguration prayer over the project.

Answer to Prayer

Shortly after Rosibel’s prayers, FH Nicaragua started working with La Uva community members. They expressed the challenges they were facing and the need for clean water access in their community. 

Strengthen Communities is all about partnering with the people who live in the community as we identify challenges and create solutions together. The people of La Uva identified lack of clean water as their greatest challenge, and along with FH, they responded to the need accordingly. 

Because of Strengthen Communities donors, FH had the necessary resources to start the process of bringing clean water to La Uva. 

First, FH hired a team to conduct a hydrological study to determine the best location for the well. The community already experienced the pain of a failed well from their local authorities. This time, the well needed to be in the right place from the beginning.

Measuring the land

The team searched for the best spot in La Uva to drill the well. They found a spot on Osmin’s land with the capacity for plenty of water. “My wife and I decided …  to donate [that land] so that all the people would have water,” Osmin shares. “We are happy for this achievement of the whole community.” 

Through this process that included donor generosity, the team who worked to drill the well, and Osmin’s decision to give land for the well, broken relationships were restored. The root cause of poverty stems from broken relationships with God, self, others, and nature. FH’s partnership with donors and communities allow us to play a part in the restoration of relationships. The solution to La Uva’s water crisis highlights a restored relationship with nature. And Osmin’s selfless decision is a reflection of the restored relationships in his community. 

The La Uva Community Resolves the Challenge

Once the location was decided, the team drilled the well for La Uva. For the first time in over a decade, they had a steady supply of clean water.

The project underway!

“My son was 1 year old when [we lost clean water] and today, he is a teenager. It fills me with great hope that this is over,” Osmin says.

Osmin with his family.

“I feel very happy, because this is a dream of many years,” Rosibel adds.  

Thanks to FH donors, the La Uva community is now flourishing. After years of struggling, the people have the resources they need to live healthy lives. Sustainable solutions have been set in place and relationships have been restored. Families no longer suffer from preventable dehydration and disease and children no longer miss school to look for water. Their community has been strengthened and become sustainably resilient. 

This community’s story is just one of many examples of what’s possible when we strengthen communities together. 

Community members who have been strengthened are grateful for your partnership, too. Osmin says, “We are very thankful to donors for this support. May God bless you.”

Today, as you drink water, wash your clothes, or shower, remember La Uva. Your support to Strengthen Communities makes this kind of life-changing impact possible.


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