In Villa Maria del Triunfo, a shantytown in Lima, Peru, Mercedes Fernandez remembers all too well when she had to go up and down a steep 100-metre hill every day to get water.
Today, thanks to a project funded by CIDA and implemented by the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), Mercedes has running water in her house. "My family and I can now wash at home, cook safely, and maintain a clean house. I've learned how to chlorinate water so we have safe drinking water," she says.
Working with women such as Mercedes, as well as with community leaders and local water utilities, WUSC has helped install water and sanitation services in more than 300 poor communities in Peru. This means that more than 1.2 million low-income Peruvians now have access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, and have seen their health improve.