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Chiapas has over 30% of Mexico's entire drinking water reserves. Annual rainfall amounts to 14,000 cubic meters per person, the highest figure in the country. However, thousands of communities throughout the state have no clean drinking water.

Access to this key natural resource for the people of Chiapas is also threatened by exploitation from multinational corporations, privatisation and the construction of multimillion dollar mega-water projects such as dams. Kiptik helps communities in the autonomous municipalities of Chiapas to build their own water systems.

We help with the design, buy the materials, and work with and train the community to build the system. We leave them with a toolbox and supply of spare parts, so once the system is built, the community is able to maintain their system without outside intervention…

The average water system takes 3 months to build, and supplies water to communities ranging from 10 to 50 families. The most effective type of systems are "gravity-flow," where water is piped downhill from a spring to a reservoir tank and then directly to each house. This avoids using pumps, which are expensive to fix and often unreliable.

Building a water system relieves the daily burden placed on women and instead of having to walk for an hour to carry 10 litres of muddy water, they can turn on a tap in their back yard and use clean water. Ensuring a supply of clean water is the most important preventative health measure for a community: incidents of giardia, amoebic dysentery, diarrhoea, cholera, and hepatitis can all be drastically lowered. Scientists estimate that if we carry on dirtying clean water at the present rate, by 2030 there won't be enough drinking water to meet the needs of everyone on the planet. Think about that when you next leave your tap running.

Kiptik has helped fund and build over 21 water systems in the autonomous communities of Chiapas since 2000. This has brought a clean water supply to around 5000 people.

Almost all the systems continue to work well with the communities themselves taking care of all the maintenance. The average system costs around £4000 / €4500 and takes 3 months to build. This means at a cost of around £90 / €110 per family we can help provide a clean water supply for the next 20 years.