Let me share the experience I had last week in Pacurita, near Quidbó, in Chocó Department, Colombia. On 15 October, Ferrovial inaugurated a project as part of its Social Infrastructure programme in Colombia. In an area surrounded by tropical rainforest, near the Pacific Ocean, a community of 110 families—most of them Afro-Colombian—had no access to drinking water and no sewage systems in their homes.
In 2012, Ferrovial, together with Ayuda en Acción, the Barefoot Foundation and the Mayor’s Office of Quidbó started working on infrastructure to provide drinking water to those families. Today, drinking water flows from the fountain in the town square, surrounded by small colourful homes. This is the result of outstanding collaboration and great understanding between a private company (Ferrovial), a mayor’s office, two NGOs and the community. Everyone involved, with very different profiles and activities, worked together to improve the living standards for the 1,200 people who today have access to drinking water.
The people of Pacurita didn’t sit at home, waiting for the water to arrive; they participated in the project from the beginning. The provided labour, commitment and patience to provide drinking water to their families. They made the project their own, and there is no doubt that they will maintain it in the medium and long term. They know better than anyone that it’s the only way to reduce the high levels of parasitic diseases, malaria and diarrhoeal illnesses.
Thanks to all the volunteers who participated in this project: Julián, Pedro, Ana, Lorena, Carlos, Fernando … At the inauguration, everyone was asking for you.