BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Thursday inspected the construction of a potable water distribution system that he said would create equal opportunities for some 16,500 people who live in the northern province of Chaco, one of the nation’s poorest.
The project will change the lives of thousands of Argentines and ensure everyone has access to potable water regardless of where they were born, Macri said during his visit to the water treatment plant in the town of Mision Nueva Pompeya.
That plant is part of a larger project that will span the Impenetrable Chaqueño, a remote, 40,000-sq-kilometer (15,450-sq.-mile) forested region of northern Argentina with a large indigenous population, and will benefit some 16,500 people, 70 percent of whom are Wichi and Qom Indians.
The system will include several cisterns, water treatment plants, storage tanks and two aqueducts, one stretching for 21 kilometers (13 miles) and the other for 34 kilometers, sources with the president’s office told EFE.
A 100-kilometer pipe network will be linked to that system and carry water to schools and health centers in the most remote areas.
Water currently is supplied to rural areas via trucks and people have to spend around six hours a day obtaining water and transporting it manually, a job mainly carried out by women and children, the president’s office said.
The goal is to ensure that “so many Argentines never again have to walk dozens of kilometers to have water,” Macri said.
He said the project in Chaco was part of the largest infrastructure program in Argentine history, one that encompasses 10 provinces and seeks to link the northern region with the rest of the country and the world.