National WASH Coalition
The Colombia WASH Coalition comprises a number of national and international organizations and is coordinated by Cinara at the University of Valle, California.
A specific objective of the coalition is to streamline the participation of rural and marginal urban communities in the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector through the production of a periodical.
Further plans cover three main areas:
- dissemination of information
- building partnerships
Milestones and achievements
The WASH Coalition has been endorsed by the national government of Colombia as part of its commitment to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals.
Activities over the past four years have focused mainly on small municipalities and the rural areas, and have involved publishing information on the national water and sanitation situation, reviewing public policies, and celebrating global events.
Since 2008, the main activity of the coalition has been in supporting the production of the Aquacol newsletter. Aquacol is an association of 33 community-based organizations which provide water services to more than 70,000 people. The bulletins are written and designed by the communities themselves, using simple language and paying special attention to emphasizing the cultural differences of the communities. The bulletin succeeds because:
- it helps to develop a knowledge management process at the community level through collecting and disseminating local experiences and stories;
- it increases writing and communication skills on water and environmental issues;
- its participatory style has helped to reach the target audience better and has increased the visibility of Aquacol in the community;
- it has adressed production and financing challenges by its careful advertisement policy.