US-based organisation Aguayuda improves life and health in poor rural communities in the Colombian regio of La Guajira through clean water, sanitation and education. Dutch-based software foundation Akvo helps them to share the project information online.

Recently Akvo selected the Aguayuda team for their series 'The story behind the Akvo partner heroes' and asked photographer Harold Lozada to do a photo shoot in La Guajira. The two 'heroes' pictured are Benicia Uriana (left) and Karen Cuadrado (right), both social workers on the Aguayuda team. Here seen posing in traditional Wayúu mantas.

Hardly any water facilities
La Guajira is one of the most impoverished parts of Colombia. In the region, 84 percent of people (8,000) live in rural communities and do not have access to clean water. Even more - 96 percent - do not have access to sanitation facilities.

As part of a wider Latin American WASH project launched by Millennium Water Alliance (MWA), FEMSA Foundation and Coca-Cola Latin America, a team of Aguayuda started to improve the water availability and tackle the hygiene and medical conditions related to water in La Guajira.

dws-akvo-flow-project-locations-colombia-350pxProject data worldwide online
The Aguayuda team uses the web-based service provided by Akvo Really Simple Reporting (RSR) to communicate the project information online.

Akvo made a searchable web page for the project, containing detailed information about what is happening and who the funders are. A simple user interface allows the field workers to update their project page.

Smart phone app
Aguayuda also uses another service by Akvo, the Akvo FLOW. This is a smart phone app that allows users to conduct electronic field surveys for evaluating and monitoring conditions in even the most remote regions.

The Aguayuda team uses this app to collect information on the water facilities directly from the users. In this case the families in all 20+ communities that were visited in their homes.

Current water situation on dashboard
The families were asked about their access to water sources, the size of their families, whether or not they had a toilet or latrine, if they had finished school, etc. The answers were uploaded by the field workers directly into the Akvo FLOW database in the cloud. A dashboard shows online the current water situation in each of the 20+communities.

By using Akvo FLOW, Aguayuda was able to conduct 172 surveys within two months with a very small team.

This news item was originally published on the weblog of Akvo.

(top photo by Akvo/Harold Lozada)

More information
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
+31 20 820 0175
see the Akvo's RSR project page: La Guajira, Colombia 

Easton, Maryland, USA
+1 410 989 2134

Millennium Water Alliance
Washington, USA
+1 202 296 1832