A Green and Productive Municipality: A Municipal Vision

Country: El Salvador

Carlos Joma, 33, has been the mayor of San Pedro Puxla, Ahuachapan, El Salvador for nine years. The Mayor´s vision is to make this municipality green and productive. Carlos says, “But to achieve this we have much to do. In our municipality there is plenty of water, but we need to get it to the homes of the residents.   Due to poor management, families do not get enough water.

“Our municipality has enough water, but we do not know its quality.  There are 6 counties of which our water committee called CORDURGUATEX serves, but only 5 receive water from the system.  The problem is that there are no micro meters and many people waste this resource, while others don´t receive any.” CORDURGUATEX water system was inaugurated in 2000 with a total of 800 people.  Now it serves over 1600 families unsuccessfully.

In June 2015, Blue Harvest through Caritas Santa Ana began working with municipality of San Pedro Puxla through a working agreement with the Micro-Regional Association of South Ahuachapán (AMAS). This office integrates four mayors of the municipalities of Jujutla, Guaymango Puxtla San Pedro, and San Francisco Menendez.  As the mayor began to get to know Blue Harvest, he began to ask: “How can we find a solution for a more efficient water service?  How can we channel water from other sources?  How can Caritas/CRS through Blue Harvest help us through a real change?”

Shortly after, collaboration began between the community, mayor office, and Blue Harvest in building a municipal plant nursery, train farmers on nursery management, and collect data on all water sources in the municipality.  The municipal council has taken part in water source assessments.  After only 5 months of collaboration there has been results. The mayor has made his team available to work with Blue Harvest; sponsored the First Soil and Water Festival held in October 2015 in the central park; and has helped bring key stakeholders together to start a Water Platform to address issues around the resource.

Mayor Joma seeks to purchase land around new water sources; improve natural resource municipal ordinances with an emphasis on water; protect recharge areas; and support the communication with owners of farms that are sources of employment and the location of water sources. This has made the vision of a green and productive municipality to improve water management a reality.