GWP Honduras together with Fundación Vida and the Association of Municipalities of Honduras (AMHON) coordinated a workshop to train representatives of 25 municipalities of western Honduras on IWRM in the city of Danli, on September 6, 2012. This activity was part of a broader program led by AMHON and the National Forest Conservation Institute (ICF) on the protection of forests. The objective was to impart knowledge on the main concepts of IWRM to increase its use in local settings.
Honduras is bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. The country’s mountainous terrain and coastal plains are home to almost 8 million people. In 1998 the country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch which was followed by three days of rain that caused landslides and floods, burying towns and killing thousands of people. Many of the rural communities were devastated. The hurricane caused $58 million in damages and left 75% of the country without safe drinking water.
The service quality in Honduras is low compared to other countries in Latin America. In 2006, only 75% of the drinking water in urban areas was disinfected and 10% of the wastewater that was collected received treatment. In the rural areas, however, many of the communities have water systems, but the water from these systems often does not meet government quality and quantity standards.
For nearly ten years, GWP Central America has been working with legislators in Honduras to explain the benefits of IWRM and advise on technical aspects as they drafted and refined water legislation. The National Congress, after a broad consultation process supported by GWP Central America, approved a new national water law in 2009.
The IWRM workshop in September included a presentation and discussion on IWRM, the recently approved National Water Law and economic tools that can be used at a local level to implement IWRM. Relevant material, including a copy of the National Water Law, was handed out during the workshop.