WaterAid is closely monitoring the situation in Nicaragua and our primary focus is on the wellbeing and security of our staff, who are safe. Nicaragua has been severely affected by a socio-political crisis since April 2018, when a group of students were killed while protesting against reforms to the national pension plan.
Ensuing widespread protests were met with an escalating wave of violent repression, primarily from a combination of police and paramilitary forces. According to national and international human rights organizations, since April more than 480 people have been killed and more than 2,000 reported injured.*
With increased international condemnation and no progress in attempts at a national dialogue, there is an increasingly negative impact on all sectors of the economy including agriculture, tourism and the service sector. Despite the increased risk of violence, persecution, illegal detentions and the criminalization of civic protests fed by increased polarization, our work has carried on and is continuing with only minor interruptions to operations when it is deemed that our staff is directly at risk. This crisis has made the humanitarian and apolitical nature of our mission ever more critical to the recovery and long-term development of Nicaragua. We are heartened by the dedication and resilience of our field staff and the communities where we work. We can only hope that the work our teams do together with our local partners, will contribute to the basic well-being and prosperity of all Nicaraguans starting with access to clean water, improved sanitation and good hygiene.
Nicaragua was the first program WaterAid launched in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in just seven years our team has reached more than 19,500 people with clean water, 7,200 people with decent toilets and more than 53,000 people with hygiene education.