Despite the dramatic economic growth Peru has undergone over the past decade, the poorest 5% of the population earn as little as 4% of the total national income, showing that this new wealth is extremely unevenly distributed, resulting in vast inequality in the country. In particular, rural areas have been neglected, left seriously lacking in access to basic services.
Only 66% of the rural population have access to improved water services, compared with the 91% with access in urban areas. It is a similar situation with adequate sanitation: 38% of rural residents have access to improved sanitation while 81% of the urban population does. In a study carried out in 2000, the majority of water supply systems in rural areas were found to not disinfect water due to a lack of facilities or chlorine. These poor sanitary conditions result in water borne diseases, which is a major health threat in Peru. Other implications of the inadequacy of these basic services are kidney and stomach infections and resulting health and nutrition issues from dehydration.
Just a Drop has recently started a water aid project in Misminay to excavate a groundwater gallery. Click here to read an update on the work so far.