NejapaIt is a municipality located north of San Salvador, which does not have access to drinking water despite the fact that the San Antonio River passes through there, which is the only source of supply for thousands of Salvadorans.
However, several transnationals, among which Coca-Cola stands out, extract water from this river and pollute other rivers in the area, according to complaints from neighborhood organizations.
Roxana Brizuela, Pro Vida health promoter and resident of Nejapa, stated that people who use the San Antonio River for their daily activities such as washing clothes, dishes and bathing, begin to suffer from a lack of water that, until ten years ago they fully enjoyed it, since the companies in the area did not have the amount of industrial wells that now absorb most of the river's water, "being a water-rich municipality, we regret that there are still entire communities that lack the vital liquid."
Likewise, he pointed out that another of the problems they face is the contamination of the water, which was previously for human consumption, now it causes stomach diseases and death to their animals, “cows abort because they drink water from the river and go extremely polluted because we have the garbage dump from where the leachates come down and go to the river ”.
"We also have those companies that pollute our water," added Brizuela.
The inhabitant remembers how several years ago she reached the river, which was maintained with a considerably higher flow than today, “I came years ago to wash and I had the good fortune to get into where the strong flow came from and now it goes much less ”.
In this sense, he reiterated that, to prevent these situations from continuing, it is important to approve, as soon as possible, the General Water Law, “so these companies would no longer come to draw our water without anyone telling them anything, because they are only interested in selling the water but they don't care about the people we really need ”.
Carlos Flores, from the Water Forum, pointed out that a considerable part of the responsibility in this scenario falls on the local government, therefore it is necessary to strengthen the capacity of the municipality to technically argue the reasons why it should no longer be continued changing land use, carrying out urbanization projects and, on the contrary, reducing the use of water in the territory.
Flores, assures that at this moment they are working together to design an action plan that helps to visualize everything that needs to be done.
He assured that the problem is the result of the obstacles placed by the right-wing deputies in the Legislative Assembly to prevent the approval of the Water Law, “it is not in their interest that the law is there, because it means that what happens here, no longer it will happen because there will be someone who thinks about water, with a basin approach and will prevent this type of thing from happening ”.
The issue is a very tricky expansion without permission of the plant, effluents without previous treatment in a plant that produces for all of Central America, that added to little government control, felling of trees, pollution and poor management of natural resources is endangering the aquifer largest in the country.