Juan Carlos Calizaya Luna

Ashoka Fellow
Lima, Peru
Fellow Since 2004


This profile was prepared when Juan Carlos Calizaya Luna was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Juan Carlos is taking advantage of a unique moment in the history of Peru’s water and waste management to create a new field of sustainable waste management. In order to bring this new field to life, he is working to bring together communities, engineering professionals, and government policymakers in the hope that all can move towards a common goal of clean running water for all Peruvians.

Juan Carlos starts by offering simple water management technologies to slum neighborhoods and rural areas with no effective clean water system. These inexpensive technologies promote community water conservation and waste management, help prevent human waste dumping, and have the added benefit of turning gray water into usable water for public parks.

Next, Juan Carlos works with water and sanitation engineers, most of whom have been trained for generations that the only waste management solution is the expensive and unsustainable one of using scarce potable water as the hydraulic system to carry waste away from urban area. Juan’s pilot projects based on new technologies and strict conservation are slowly beginning to reverse the single-mindedness of Peruvian water engineers.

Finally, Juan Carlos has designed new policy approaches for the government which involve greater community participation. This participation ensures local policy is generated largely by community members themselves instead of being imposed by government officials. This not only allows communities to build their own water management infrastructure through small investment increments—and therefore feel some ownership and responsibility—but it also helps quell water riots that have recently been sprouting in the outskirts of Lima.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

More For You