WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) – Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye has approved legislation to fund dozens of water and sanitation projects across the reservation.
Thousands of Navajos live without running water or access to good quality drinking water. Begaye says the bill will ensure Navajo communities have sufficient water and foster economic development.
The tribe will use $180 million over five years for the projects. The money comes from the principle of a fund established with a $554 million settlement from the federal government in a lawsuit alleging mismanagement of the tribe’s natural resources revenue.
Expenditures from the tribe’s Sihasin Fund require approval by at least 18 tribal lawmakers.
About $65 million of the funding would go to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority in the form of a loan.