Punta Sirain Water System Project – Panama
This project is to provide water for a community through a system comprised of a spring catchment box, an aqueduct system, neighborhood tap stands, and a series of individual home rainwater catchment installations.
The combination of the improved spring source and distribution system, together with the rainwater catchment tanks, will give everyone in the community equitable access to potable water.
This project will be implemented by Peace Corps Volunteer Kaitlin Green, in conjunction with the Punta Sirain Water Committee, and the community at large.
Punta Sirain is a small rural indigenous community of 300 inhabitants. It is located on the tip of the Peninsula Valiente, part of the Comarca Ngöbe-Bugle protected lands, on the Caribbean coast of Panama. East of the Bocas del Toro archipelago and lacking roads, busses, or cars, the area is only accessible via a 90-minute boat ride from Chiriquí Grande or a 2-hour boat ride from Isla Colon. The remoteness and difficult accessibility makes the region tricky and expensive to develop, yet rich with natural beauty and culture.
The community has an existing gravity-fed aqueduct system. However, due in part to the topography, it is inadequate in size and scope, leaving most homes without easily-accessible water.
The project will start with the improvement of the aqueduct system to better serve those that are connected.
An existing spring box, presently serves a small portion of the community. It is uncovered, and untreated water flows into loose tap stands.
The spring will be protected, and a treatment chamber will be built. Four cement tap stands will be installed at communal posts, about a half-mile away.
The 40 homes that cannot be served by the aqueduct system will participate in a program to install rainwater catchment systems. All of the homes with zinc roofs, totaling 30, will participate.
The tanks will be industrial-sized manufactured 100-gallon tanks, purchased with project funds. Gutter systems made of PVC will be installed to collect the water. Water will be piped into the kitchens using PVC tubing.
The community will contribute about 1/3 of the project cost, including labor to repair the aqueduct and materials and labor for the construction of the wooden tank stands.
The community will be encouraged to use the communal tap stands as well as the rainwater catchment systems instead of fetching water from unprotected springs and the creek.
The improvements are expected to drastically increase the quantity and quality of the water available in the community, and thereby reduce illnesses caused by waterborne diseases.
The beneficiaries will contribute to the project by investing $5 per drum. Each participating family will be required to attend a workshop regarding water conservation and basic hygiene.
The workshops will be lead by Peace Corps Volunteers and community health promoters. The goal will be to increase knowledge about disease transmission and teach skills to improve household water use and storage.
Skills to be acquired by participants in this project include ownership, managerial leadership, labor and construction planning, volunteerism, education on conservation, disease transmission, and hygiene, as well as maintenance skills.
The implementation of this project will reduce disease, promote overall hygiene and health, give homes individual responsibility for their family’s water supply, and give everyone in the community access to clean water.
The participation of Water Charity in this project has now been funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.
Any donations using the Donate button below will go toward additional water and sanitation projects in the Panama.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.