Thirty indigenous communities will have safe water in Ecuador

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and UNICEF are joining forces to improve access to safe water in thirty indigenous communities in the rural province of Chimborazo, Ecuador. To this end, the Church of Jesus Christ has made a substantial donation to UNICEF Ecuador. The delivery ceremony took place on Friday, March 15 at the church office in Quito.

Ecuador has the second highest rate of chronic malnutrition among children in Latin America. Within Ecuador, the highest percentage, more than 35%, is recorded in the province of Chimborazo.


“In this province, four out of ten families with children under the age of five consume water contaminated with E. coli bacteria,” said Luz Ángela Melo, representative of UNICEF Ecuador. She added that the lack of safe water hinders the proper development of children, affecting nutrition, health and learning ability.

During the ceremony, Melo expressed his admiration and deep gratitude to the Church of Jesus Christ for supporting UNICEF’s mission. She said she was touched by the kindness and generosity of the Latter-day Saints.

The donation will be used to improve the operation of water supply systems in ten communities. In addition, it will increase access to safe water services in five community health centers, twelve child development centers and two intercultural centers for the promotion of the health and nutrition of children under three years of age and pregnant women.

As part of the strategy to combat chronic malnutrition in children, UNICEF will strengthen local coordination through cross-sectoral committees to ensure that children under three years of age and pregnant women have access to essential health care services.

UNICEF will promote breastfeeding, good nutrition and hygiene practices among families and communities. It will also cover, among other things, the prevention and control of infections and effective solid waste management.

Elder Rafael E. Pino, second counselor in the Church’s South America Northwest Area presidency, said the project will bless more than 22,000 children, youth and women in Chimborazo.

“Faith without works is dead,” said the elder Pino. “For this reason, the Church of Jesus Christ desires to manifest its faith through action.”

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