OOSKAnews Youth Voices: Water in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras

OOSKAnews Voices is a series of guest “opinion columns” written by participants in different parts of the international water community. The columns provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. In this article a young professional in the water sector shares his experience and views with respect to water issues in his home country.

My name is Juan Fernando Herrera Ramos, I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras the 15th of June of 1989, I did my high school in the ¨Jose Cecilio del Valle Institute¨ and graduated from law school in the ¨Catholic University of Honduras¨ in 2013.

Currently I am enrolled in the International Human Resources Development program in the National Taiwan Normal University; where I am also part of the soccer team, and an English reading group leader.

I am the treasurer of the ¨Honduran Association in Taiwan¨ and I am doing an internship in ¨Universal Scientific Industrial Taiwan¨ as Human Resources professional and have previously worked in my country as a lawyer for the ¨Central American Corporation for Aero-navigation Services¨ and as a call service agent for the United States ¨Startek Company¨. I am part time writer and involve myself in social work in my free time.

 

I discovered the importance of water at a very young age. In 1998 the “Mitch” Hurricane devastated Honduras and we didn’t have water for weeks. I remember collecting water from the rains or waiting for trucks that came once a week, and the people fighting to get water. After the hurricane, everything went back to normal and I thought I would never experience a shortage like that again. I was wrong.

Our country has faced many droughts and, due to the lack of proper infrastructure, we haven’t been able to solve the problem. According to a study in “La Prensa” newspaper (2015), 1.6 million citizens don’t have access to water, especially affecting the people from the countryside. In the cities the situation is better, but we haven’t optimal conditions. Even in Tegucigalpa, the capital where I grew up, we aren’t exempt from shortages.

Honduras uses water to generate electricity and dams must be maintained at a certain minimum level. This means that we have water only 2 or 3 days per week; we store water to make sure that we will have enough until it comes back again. This isn’t an emergency procedure, this is routine in Honduras. It has gotten to the point where water tanks aren’t seen as precaution measure, but as a need.

We have enough water sources, but we lack education; we lack infrastructure, because our government doesn’t effectively address the issue, and the courage to take action. We think someone else must solve the problem for us.

But I believe there is hope; it is within all of us to make a change, to make our country and the world, a better place.

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