Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America, despite being rich in natural resources. Almost two-thirds of its people, many of whom are subsistence farmers, live in poverty. Bolivia’s water and sanitation coverage has greatly improved since 1990 due to a considerable increase in investment in this sector. Despite these improvements, the country continues to suffer from the lowest potable water coverage levels in the Americas, as well as from the low quality of services. This is largely due to the ongoing political and institutional instability in the region.
Water connections to homes in urban areas are good at 93% but in rural areas the figure is much lower, at around 47%. The provision of sanitation services provides a much bleaker picture with only 34% of urban homes and a paltry 9% of homes in rural areas having some sort of waste management in place. Overlaying these statistics is the qualifier that just 26% of urban water supply is disinfected and only 25% of collected wastewater is treated.
Since 2001, Just a Drop has worked in Bolivia to help alleviate this situation, helping approximately 9,300 people to date.