How it all began

Because of the unacceptable water supply in Achocalla, the community turned to Swisscontact for support. The Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation had already launched a waste management system in Achocalla. The community’s request met with interest: In cooperation with Siemens Stiftung, local partners and residents, Swisscontact developed solutions for the supply of safe drinking water for Achocalla.

Installation of a water kiosk

The first step was to install a water kiosk with SkyHydrant water filters. The kiosk is designed to secure the supply of drinking water for the restaurant and snack bars catering to residents and tourists around the Achocalla lagoon. Following lengthy discussions between residents and the municipal administration, final plans for the water kiosk were passed and construction began. The water kiosk was inaugurated at the end of 2012.

Opening of the water kiosk
The Achocalla community celebrates the opening of the water kiosk.

Small business established to produce drinking water filters

The second part of the cooperation project focuses on the establishment of FILTRUMA, a small business to produce inexpensive clay drinking water filters. The filters will be made of local materials and last for about one year. The first production series is planned for 600 Achocalla families, allowing them to filter water in their own homes at low cost. Construction of the production facility began following an ecological audit: The first clay filters are slated for delivery in September 2013.

What has happened since the project began?

Improved water quality has a lasting effect on the health of Achocalla residents and tourists. The purified water from the kiosk has noticeably decreased stomach complaints. The Drinking Water for Achocalla initiative is designed to serve as a pilot project for similar initiatives in Bolivia. With that in mind, project documentation has been prepared to encourage sharing “best practice“ experiences with other regions.

The creation of the small enterprise has generated new jobs for community members, who are also responsible for operating the water kiosk at the lagoon. The project is now in the hands of the Achocalla community, ensuring a dependable, long-term water supply.