Conclusion of Las Cruces Water Distribution Project – Mexico
This project has been completed under the direction of Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was designed to improve and expand the community water system.
Life has become significantly easier for the 17 families in Las Cruces, Benito Juarez now that water comes directly into their homes. No longer do they have to suffer the drudgery of carrying wet laundry from distant water sources up the steep slope to the ridge where they live. They can wash dishes easily and bathe dirty children in their own homes for the first time in a very long time. This is a tremendous improvement in the quality of life for women.
There are approximately 60 households in the entire community. In order to provide water to everyone, the water is now distributed to sections of the population for 12 hours at a time. The leader of the water committee commented that at first the people who have always had water on hand had to adjust to not having all the water they wanted at any moment. But he says that the new situation has made them aware of how much water they previously wasted and that they are now conscious of the need to use the water wisely.
The work was completed quickly by the men of the community working together to get it done. The perforated the concrete areas to lay down 2-inch hose and then resurfaced them. The hardware was installed and is working perfectly to regulate distribution equally to all residents.
The community is fortunate to have a very good water source that flows from one of the few unlogged forest areas in this region. Even the people who were originally opposed to sharing the water have realized that there is enough for all. The schools now have the water they need to provide proper sanitation for the students.
During this process of expanding the water system, we had conversations with the water committee representatives about the urgent need to plant native vegetation to protect the underground water and prevent the severe landslides that caused such catastrophic destruction of homes in Las Cruces during Hurricane Stan. At their invitation, I provided training to the people on how to implement erosion control measures on the steep slopes to better prevent landslides and recharge groundwater. The people offered their support for future work to replant native vegetation in the area.
The families who have benefited from this project send their most sincere thanks to Water Charity for the support that made this work possible.
We extend our thanks to Tamara for completing this important project. We are grateful to Michael and Carla Boyle for providing the funding for this project.