01 July 2021

TİKA Supports Social, Innovative and Environmental Entrepreneurship in Colombia

In cooperation with the RECON Foundation, which includes young social entrepreneurs, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) implemented the project of getting clean drinking water and access to electricity by using simple and economical methods in the Caribbean region and hinterlands of Colombia.

Within the scope of supporting the Accessible and Clean Energy and Clean Water and Sanitation, which are among the UN Sustainable Development Goals; as a result of the implementation of projects led by local initiatives called 'EkoGroup' and 'Tierra Grata', about 15,000 people could access clean water and daily energy resources.

Regarding the support provided by TİKA, RECON President Andrés Santamaría said: “We know that Social Entrepreneurship is an effective tool for equal access to drinking water and energy. We are very pleased to develop projects in cooperation with international cooperation actors such as TİKA, which will become a strategic actor in strengthening the Social Entrepreneurship ecosystem in Colombia”.

As a part of this project, in Soacha, where many victims of internal conflicts live and water shortage is frequently experienced; in order to provide access to clean water, TİKA provided the necessary equipment and materials for the construction of ecological blocks that store and filter water, created from recycled plastic bottles. With the equipment and materials, the EkoGroup initiative will construct ecological blocks that will provide drinking water to 100 families. In addition, handwashing sinks made of recycled materials will be constructed for the use of approximately 10,000 students in various educational institutions in the region.

Paola Andrea Casrrubia, one of the beneficiaries of innovative solutions for drinking water supply and hygiene, expressed her gratitude: “We would like to thank you for supporting us through Ekomuro; currently, we do not have permanent access to water. Sometimes the water is cut off for 2 weeks. Thanks to the support, our children will have a better quality of life. We feel very grateful for this support and opportunity.”

In another stage of the project, 250 water filters, 100 all-in-one solar-powered street lamps and 300 solar-charged lighting equipment were delivered by TİKA, to ensure that 3,750 people in rural areas of La Guajira, Bolívar, Atlántico and Magdalena departments in the Colombian Caribbean access drinking water and energy.

With the support provided by the cooperation of an initiative called Tierra Grata, solar-powered home street lamps and charging units with a simple mechanism were given to more than 300 families who used candles to light their homes.

On the other hand, in the residential areas of the Caribbean region, 250 ecological water purifiers that produce 6,250 liters of drinking water per day are provided, benefiting 1,250 people who do not have access to clean water.

Alexander Durán, Tierra Grata representative, said, “We are pleased to present important projects with TİKA. For this year, we aimed to provide about 900 technological equipment, which are products of social entrepreneurship, in rural areas. Thanks to TİKA, we have accomplished more than 50% of our projected target.”

Samuel Agustín Herrera of the Sumain Wayúu Society, one of the project beneficiaries, expressed his feelings as follows: “Now I can charge my mobile phone and walk at night. I feel more comfortable and safer, I am not in the dark anymore”. Kathia Ortiz of the Atlántico Zipacoa Society said: “When we buy water, we spend 40,000 pesos (about US$10) on it twice a week. It will be the best thing for my family to have a water filter device because we will be able to drink clean water. Thank you all. This is an excellent opportunity that we needed in our town”.

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