Access to water and sanitation in Atlantic Nicaragua
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Afro-descendant communities in Central America have recently made important legal strides by enshrining their right to equal treatment under the law and in some cases their ability to claim a distinct group status in national constitutions. The United Nations recently issued a draft resolution declaring that access to water and sanitation is a universal right, furthering the tools available to marginalized afro-descendant peoples in their battles against poverty and underdevelopment. Unfortunately, implementation of these measures has been slow in some areas and non-existent in others. Though there have been some advances, the situation for Afro-descendant communities remains largely unchanged and the availability of the basic requirements of life for Afro-descendant populations remains among the lowest in the region. Increased attention to the political, social, and especially the material situation of Afro-descendant communities is needed in political circles, as well as in the academic community. There is a lack of scholarly work on the material well-being of Afro-descendent populations in Central America. An important initial contribution in this area would be the compilation, and accumulation of statistical information as a primary step in developing the literature. The focus of this study then is on the Atlantic Coast Afro-descendant populations in Nicaragua. This document will outline the current material circumstances of Nicaraguan Afro-descendant communities using data gathered from a variety of sources, identify the causes of inadequate access to water and sanitation, and suggest strategies to improve the situation of these communities. It is my sincere hope that, at the very least, increased attention will be brought to the situation.