New Law on Rural Sanitation Services in Chile could increase WOP opportunities

The National Federation for Sanitary Services Cooperatives in Chile (FESAN), member of GWOPA’s International Steering Committee and active member of WOP-LAC, has informed GWOPA that a new national law has been introduced that may inspire  rural sanitation WOPs in the region.

Chile currently has around 1,939 rural drinking water systems in which the local community manages operations, administration and maintenance once services have been established by the state. This model is not just commonplace but has been steadily increasing since 1964 when Chile received its first loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.

The new law (Ley 20.998 de Servicios Sanitarios Rurales) that entered into force on November 2nd 2020, aims to advance a collaborative and enabling policy framework for community organisations and strengthen their management capacity. The measures outlined establish the rights and obligations of community organisations and their members, and are founded on the concepts of collaboration, solidarity, equity, and non-discrimination.

The introduction of this legal framework may lead to increased participation in WOPs from rural sanitation operators in Chile, whose experiences could be replicated within the region.