During the “First Pipe” ceremony the authorities present at the event stressed the important contribution of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to this project. TNC donated 5-liter per second water rights and an acre of land that belonged to the Valdivian Coastal Reserve.
The project, with an estimated investment of 420 million pesos, will be implemented by the Ministry of Public Works through the Hydraulic Works Department and will supply drinking water to the entire Chaihuín community and become a driving factor for some fishery and tourism ventures in the area. Nearly 500 people, members of the 126 Chaihuín families living on the coast of the Los Rios Region in Chile will benefit from the new Rural Drinking Water System. The works on the project commenced on October 30 and the ceremony was attended by regional authorities and staff members of the TNC, manager of the Valdivian Coastal Reserve.
Alfredo Almonacid, Valdivian Coastal Reserve Land Manager, expressed his satisfaction with the achievement. "We know that this was the Chaihuín community´s paramount desire, and for us it is very important to work together with the community and with the local and regional authorities. We took the decision to donate the 5-litre per second water rights and some land totaling 4,800 square meters, which was very important for the implementation of the Rural Drinking Water Project”, he said.
Henry Azurmendi , Regional Governor, said that "we were here two years ago with some regional councilors talking to the Chaihuín neighbors and they told us that their main wish was to have drinking water in their homes. President Piñera´s government understood how crucial drinking water was for the developing communities, and decided to prioritize this project. "
At the same time, Heidi Machmar, the Public Works Regional Secretary said that “local neighbors urgently needed drinking water in their homes, given that it will permit them to strengthen tourism ventures in the area thanks to the recently asphalted stretch of road between Corral and Chaihuín, the Alerce Costero Park and the Valdivian Coastal Reserve. Furthermore, we are also going to provide connectivity between La union and Corral which is quite close to this area.”
The activity was also attended by Gaston Perez, the Mayor of Corral, and Victor Sepulveda, Chairman of the Chaihuín Rural Drinking Water Committee, among other local leaders.