Conclusion of Izgouren and Ilguiloda Water Project – Morocco
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Jessica Rushing.
The project was designed to build a water sourcing system, consisting of water tanks fed by a well, and then piped to various locations. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
A summary of Jessica’s report is as follows:
Scope of the Project
The summer portion of the project had a number of goals. We planned to install new pipes onto the system and install a water pump and control panel. Additionally, we planned to involve the community even more in the project through capacity building involving training on pipe installation and foundation work. Another goal was to expand the youth development program through activities related to healthy lifestyles, and as well as begin the conversation regarding the creation of a women’s development program.
Specific Work Done
During the summer term, we successfully installed 29 new galvanized pipes to the water system. Six community members built their capacity by learning how to install pipes, check for leaks, and repair leaks. We also completed the water tank foundation with the help of community members – setting rebar, mixing cement by hand, and pouring the foundation. We were unable to install the water pump and control panel due to the delay in receipt of funds. However, we did purchase the pump and control panel once the funds arrived. It just happened to be after the summer trip was completed.
Regarding the youth development program, more than 30 youth participated in healthy lifestyle activities as the local school. They learned about and participated in activities for healthy eating habits, dental hygiene, hand washing, and no-smoking. There was also a great soccer match that was played by both boys and girls which helped us focus a little on gender equality. Additionally, two meetings were held with the women in the communities to discuss a women’s empowerment program. This cannot begin until after water has been brought to the communities. These were however the beginning stages to discuss possibilities and interested. A high interest was shown with suggestions on the types of programs given.
How Work Progressed Through Each Stage
Over the two and a half weeks on site, we diligently worked to complete our goals. We first focused on the water tank foundation. We initially planned to have a mixer onsite but this proved to be costly and out of our budget. We spent a lot of time on the foundation since everything had to be mixed and poured by hand. It was a great team effort to accomplish this. Afterwards, we set out to install the pipes. We ran into a few setbacks with bad pipes being delivered, or pipes with faulty threading. After re-threading some pipes and replacing others, we successfully installed all of the pipes and completed a leak test. This was a frustrating time due to piping issues but the team stayed positive and we worked together to meet our goal within the trip deadline.
The end of the trip was focused on youth development and meetings with the women from both villages. This is always the time looked forward to most by visiting engineers, community members, and Peace Corps Volunteers. We are able to have fun, get to know each other more, build bonds, celebrate our successes of the trip and really just enjoy our time together not as groups from different countries and backgrounds, but as one team working together to reach our goals.
As mentioned above, we successfully met the goals set out for this phase of the project, setting us up for future phases of the project. Since we now have more piping and a water tank foundation for the communities to see, they are continuing to put their trust in this project and have shown a willingness to volunteer, even more when work is needed.
We continue to work on this project for our winter phase in the coming months. We hope to complete the water system which will provide water to two villages. Next will be the final phase, which is installing additional piping that will provide water to a third and final location to complete the entire project.
We are grateful to Jessica for completing this project.