Since 1992, the population of Villanueva, a city located about 10 miles from Honduras' industrial capital San Pedro Sula, has doubled. The number of people migrating from rural to urban areas to work at manufacturing plants has increased substantially over the same period and spurred most of Villanueva's growth. Without a long-term growth and development plan, within the next 15 years, Villanueva could become a chaotic city of people demanding services that the municipality cannot provide. Improving access to potable water and sanitation services is critical to Villanueva's development.
Mayor Felipe Borjas and other municipal authorities had a vi-sion for not only preparing Villanueva for rapid growth, but modernizing the city and bringing it into the 21st century. USAID supported an urban growth and planning study to recommend specific steps for Villanueva's orderly and sustainable growth. Water and sanitation are on the top of that list, and USAID financed projects to improve those systems in Villanueva.
In March 2004, more than 500 people participated in a town meeting to discuss the conclusions and recommendations of USAID's urban growth assessment for Villanueva. Attendees included entrepreneurs, members of civil society-even authorities from nearby municipalities. The study, which called for better access to potable water and sanitation services, construction of drainage systems and reforestation of the areas near the water supplies, is helping municipal authorities make critical decisions for Villanueva's future. Due to projects started as a result of the study's recommendations, 60 percent of the city's people now have access to potable water and sanitation services.
Last updated: November 22, 2013