Water Supply and Sanitation in Guatemala - History and Recent Events

History and Recent Events

See also: Guatemalan civil war

In 1996 the government of Guatemala and the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity, the guerilla movement, signed a peace accord which ended 36 years of a civil, guerilla war. This conflict left over 100,000 Guatemalans dead and created over 1 million internally displaced refugees. This recent tumultuous history, along with a fairly new constitution written in 1985 and then again amended in 1993, can explain a lack of information regarding water and sanitation, as well as low service coverage.

While many improvements have been made since the end of the war, Guatemala continually suffers from political violence and corruption, drug trafficking, and a large trade deficit. In light of these problems, it has been difficult for the national government to raise funds internally, or to attract assistance and investment from international donors and financial institutions. These financial setbacks prevent needed improvements in the countries’ general infrastructure, such as education, public health, and water and sanitation systems.

From 1991 to 1998 the President of the Republic created a Secretary of Hydrological Resources whose mission was to order and plan the water sector and to make a Water Law. Several proposals for the law were turned down, largely due to the lack of a legal and institutional framework for managing water resources in Guatemala.

In 1995 COPECAS, in collaboration with other principal institutions, conducted a country-wide analysis of water and sanitation to address disorganization, contradictions and discrepancies in the sector. This study led to changes in the coordination and management of the sector, such as giving INFOM the responsibility to manage the sector.

In 1999 the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA) was given responsibility for creating an Integrated Management Plan for Hydrological Resources, which will focus on water resources in terms of a political, legal and institutional framework, information and sustainability, and education.

In 2002 the Inter-American Development Bank gave Guatemala support for the reform and reorganization of INFOM in order to better serve and assist municipalities.

Read more about this topic:  Water Supply And Sanitation In Guatemala

Other articles related to "history and recent events":

Water Supply And Sanitation In The Netherlands - History and Recent Events
... Benchmarking ... Since 1997 the Dutch water companies have engaged in a voluntary exercise to benchmark their performance against each other, in order to improve their efficiency and increase transparency ...

Famous quotes containing the words events and/or history:

    A curious thing about atrocity stories is that they mirror, instead of the events they purport to describe, the extent of the hatred of the people that tell them.
    Still, you can’t listen unmoved to tales of misery and murder.
    John Dos Passos (1896–1970)

    In nature, all is useful, all is beautiful. It is therefore beautiful, because it is alive, moving, reproductive; it is therefore useful, because it is symmetrical and fair. Beauty will not come at the call of a legislature, nor will it repeat in England or America its history in Greece. It will come, as always, unannounced, and spring up between the feet of brave and earnest men.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)