This town sits in the dusty backlands of Peru's second-largest city. Migrants flock here by the thousands hoping to improve their lot by clinging to the big city. This migrant who's been living here for five years says she doesn't have running water, a common complaint. The town is growing faster than water companies' capacity. About half of the people in the town have indoor water half the day and some water tanks have been put in other neighborhoods. The migrant uses a wheelbarrow to transport water from the tank to her home, several blocks away. On this weekday afternoon, hundreds of people protest outside the public water company for this neighborhood, demanding better access to running water. This community activist says because many of us are not educated, officials think they can ignore us. the president of the water company insists his company is not ignoring the populations but just doesn't have the capacity and they don't have the money to build a new water plant. They don't receive money from the central government and make most of their money off water fees, which are kept low because they'd be unpopular otherwise. This is the status quo for many of Peru's 54 water companies, says this analyst. The company has come up with an unusual solution, to have a mining company pay most of the cost of a new water treatment plant and in exchange they won't have to pay fees for excavation and mining. But the plant won't be up and running for at least five more years and the resident says that's a long time to wait.
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