Conclusion of E.O.R.M. Santa Cruz, Tres Cruces Water Project – Guatemala
The project was to install an electric water pump as an integral and necessary part of a larger project to bring water to the school.
The community successfully constructed an appropriate water distribution system, including a well, water tower, handwashing station, and absorption pit powered by an electric pump, and established norms and responsibilities for its maintenance.
The school’s teacher has begun implementing basic hygiene practices among students. Before snack, students are sent from the classroom in groups of four, by grade to wash their hands with soap and water. After recess they follow the same procedure to brush their teeth.
The Director of E.O.R.M. Santa Cruz, Tres Cruces and the Consejo de Padres de Familia at the school have been trained in Peace Corps’ Project Design and Management (PDM) techniques and understand the theory behind project management. Successfully completing the water distribution system project in the school has reinforced PDM theory and given community members the opportunity to practice the skills they learned in training.
The success of the project came despite two major obstacles. First, the water table was considerably lower than the community anticipated, which increased the cost of the project. Excavating fifteen additional meters added more than a month of work to the project (at cost to the community) and impacted the material budget (more tubing and a different type of pump were necessary to connect the well to the water tower).
Secondly, an extended rainy season and the unanticipated depth of the water table delayed the project timeline. In an attempt to finish on time, the community decided to construct the water tower and handwashing station before completing the excavation of the well. For more than a month, the community had this infrastructure with no assurances of finding water. When water was found, the project was able to move to completion.
We are grateful to Megan for completing this comprehensive project, and giving us the opportunity to participate. We also wish to thank Michael and Carla Boyle for providing the funding.