In 2019, MLP created the MAS Program in order to tie sales of sustainably sourced molasses with impact projects in the sugarcane origin communities. One of the projects that was recently completed aimed to provide potable water directly to the homes of 128 families (553 people) in two neighbouring communities of KM9 and 10 in Nicaragua. The project was managed by our local supplier, Pantaleon, and paid for jointly by ED&F Man and one of our rum-producing customers, Diageo.
Previously these communities had relied on shallow, hand-dug wells which often became contaminated in the rainy season, leading to gastrointestinal illnesses. During the dry season, the old wells frequently ran dry leaving the communities without access to water.
The project funded the installation of a deep-water community well and piping to connect the water to each community member’s home in both communities.
To ensure proper administration of the water system, Pantaleon provided detailed training and set up a committee to oversee the water system maintenance, called a Community Committee on Drinking Water and Sanitation (CAPS).
“The life in our community will now be so much better because we have potable water, healthier water,” says Juan José Castellón, President of the CAPS for KM9 and 10.