With the rise of industrial sugar production, comes the intensive use of pesticides, fungicides, and other agrochemicals in sugarcane cultivation. In Chichigalpa, many believe that the local drinking water is contaminated.
Recent research demonstrates that chronic dehydration is among the primary drivers of the CKDnT epidemic. Damage to the kidneys is likely to be exacerbated by exposure to environmental toxins, among them agricultural chemicals.
Rural families around Chichigalpa are thus often doubly at risk: their fear of drinking contaminated water may in fact be killing them faster than the toxins they seek to avoid.
La Isla Foundation has teamed up with Centro Humboldt to install four deep water wells in this area, including one in our namesake village, La Isla. Currently, the wells provide cool potable water to over 200 households at the turn of a spigot. By 2015, that number will increase by another 100, meaning that 300 sugarcane workers and their families will have unprecedented access to safe water.
For many of these families, 2014 was the first year they did not have to haul water to their homes. For the first time in likely generations, people can drink water without fear for their health.