Colombia’s government will invest $4.12 billion over the next 10 years in an initiative to bring safe drinking water to Colombia’s rural areas, reported Caracol Radio on Wednesday.
The potable water initiative will benefit more than 1.7 million people, announced National Planning Director Tatyana Orozco.
The investment will also address the issue of adequately dealing with waste water to the benefit more than 2.5 million Colombians, reported Caracol Radio.
“This decision [to approve the $4.12 billion investment] seeks to improve the quality of life and health of rural populations, diminish the poverty gap between urban and rural areas, and continue to consolidate fairness between the regions, as is the priority of President Juan Manuel Santos’ administration,” affirmed Orozco.
Inequality in rural Colombia
While access to safe drinking water in Colombia’s urban areas is at 99.6%, rural areas fall far behind with only 72.5% of the population having access to potable water supplies, according to UNICEF Colombia’s statistics.
Aguayuda, a not-for-profit Colombian potable water organization, cites even more troubling statistics, where “84% of the rural poor lack access to clean water” in La Guajira, Colombia’s northern-most state.
- Agua de mejor calidad para 4.5 millones colombianos (Caracol Radio)
- Annual Report 2013 (Aguayuda)
- UNICEF Colombia Statistics