Nicaragua's water and sewage system declined terribly during the
Sandinista years since no new money was invested in it, and no
maintenance was performed on what existed. However, for the last 7
years, nearly 200 million dollars have been invested and a similar amount
is scheduled for the next 5 years. Not even 90% of the urban population has
potable water and less than half of the rural population. And only half of
the urbanites have working sewage systems and absolutely none of the
rural residents due. This translates into the fact that a huge portion of
the people must draw their water to drink, cook, and bathe from rivers and
wells and then their waste is left wherever is convenient--obviously
there is great need and possibility for improvement.
See a picture of the way a big part of the country gets water.
The Nicaraguan Institute of Water and Sewage Systems (INAA) is in the
process of being privatized. It has sought funds from many different
organizations and countries for improvement and progress has and is being
made. Many major projects simply involve rehabilitating existing
treatment, storage, and dispersion facilities. However, projects are also
in the works to construct new wells, pumping stations, and tanks in cities
that are in dire need. In Managua, INAA wants to install new water
meters, replace water pipes, and improve storage--the same is true in
many cities around the country. One area that is being paid a lot of
attention is the raw sewage which is being pumped into Lake Managua.
Therefore, new treatment plants and pumps must be constructed.