Villa Gualberto Villarroel, better known as Cuchumuela, is the first municipality in Bolivia to achieve 100 percent water coverage. Official recognition for their achievement came from Bolivia’s water and environment ministry MMAyA. It is the story of a successful partnership between local government, communities and an international NGO, Water for People.
According to Mayor Oscar Terrazas, the foundation for achieving water for all 2,000 inhabitants of Cuchumuela was laid in 1996 when Bolivia passed the law on popular participation (Ley de Participación Popular). This gave local government and communities the power to set their own priorities for local services. Each of the 15 autonomous communities in Cuchumuela is responsible for the financial management and maintenance of their fully metered water system.