Clean water out of reach for native peoples


Clean Water Out of Reach for Native Peoples

Inter Press Service

By Natalia Ruiz Díaz

ASUNCION (IPS) - Of the many things that are not within the reach of everyone in Paraguay, safe drinking water is the one the indigenous population longs for most.

"The water we get from the reservoir is not fit to drink, but we drink it anyway. We have no other option; it's not clean water, but it is water," Neira Esquivel, a Sanapaná indigenous woman from the village of Karanda'y Puku, in the vast Paraguayan Chaco region, told IPS.

Esquivel travelled to Asunción with leaders of her community to demand water, food and formal recognition of their land rights from the National Indigenous Institute.

These journeys to the capital, more than 400 kilometres away, are a permanent feature of their lives. They go especially to voice their water needs.

Communities in the Chaco region, a semi-arid expanse of dense thorn scrubland in northern and western Paraguay, suffer most because in addition to the lack of infrastructure for water supply, droughts are common.

In the area around Karanda'y Puku, which is home to 70 families, "it hasn't rained for seven months; our reservoir is dry and the reserve tank is empty," said Esquivel.

Click here to read more.

Click here to read about the MDG-F's work on water and sanitation in Paraguay.

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