FIHIDROS: Affordable Water for Poor Communities in El Salvador

Jan 2011
Almost half the population in rural El Salvador has no readily available drinking water. People dig wells, carry water from streams, or buy it at considerable expense from cistern trucks. Some communities rely on donations to create and manage water systems that provide clean water and sanitation at affordable prices to hundreds or thousands of households at the base of the pyramid. Although these local operators have been successfully running and maintaining systems for decades, their growth has been limited by lack of managerial skills and access to finance.With a $2 million loan from the Opportunities for the Majority Initiative (OMJ) and $2 million of its own funds, Banco ProCredit S.A. is launching a lending program for communal water projects in El Salvador. ProCredit will lend to Local Small-Scale Community Operators (OLPES) to improve, repair and expand water supply systems. OMJ will also assist OLPES to strengthen management of business, finances, assets, and the environment, so they can successfully package commercial loan requests.