Red Lands Water System Project – Jamaica

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Red Lands, Clarendon, Jamaica

Community Description
Red Lands, Clarendon, Jamaica is an agricultural-based community located near the trigonometric center of Jamaica. Agriculture is responsible for the founding and continued existence of the Red Lands Community. It is also a source of some of the major challenges the community will face in the nearby future. The primary challenge will likely be increasing their resiliency to the effects of climate change, organizational development, and social issues.

The community of Red Lands has great potential for economic and community development in the future. Human capital and land capital are its greatest assets. The keys to achievement in community development rely on the mobilization of community members and their willingness to invest in themselves and the community to make a change.

Problem Addressed
The Red Lands and Red Hills water supply currently consists of more than 2,000 feet of pipe, 2 water tanks, several standpipes, and dozens of outlets to individual homes. Although the system has much infrastructure to it already, water reaches less than 10% of the length of the pipe and very few homes due to the deterioration of the system over time, a lack of proper management and finance, and the effects of climate change on rainfall patterns and drought conditions.

The declining condition of the infrastructure has left the system unable to properly store and distribute water. The improper and under-financed management of the water system has allowed it to weaken over time, as well as burden very few people with the work of fixing it when it is not functioning.

Lack of access to pipe water has had a severe negative impact on the Red Lands and Red Hills communities. Many community members undergo financial hardship or loss of economic opportunity due to the need to purchase water or spend time carrying it to their homes. The local primary school also finds itself forced to purchase water to be transported into the community.

A lack of easy access to water has many additional negative effects to the Red Lands and Red Hills Communities including lack of proper sanitation, contributing to students being late to school and more time devoted to water collection, both at school and at home, businesses closing, and overall it makes life more difficult.

Project Description
This project is to build an effective water supply system in the community.
A concrete water tank will be constructed with interior dimensions of 12’x12’x10’ (LxWxH) for a total volume of 10,772 gallons. The tank will be constructed using 6” concrete blocks, concrete, ½” steel, sand, stone, thinsett sand-dynafloor-300, and 2” PVC SCH40 Pressure Pipe.

One 375 gallon concrete water tank and entombment catchment will be repaired. The bottom of the tank that rides the hillside has washed out. The interior base of the tank will be replaced with solid concrete, complete with a layer of thinsett sand-dynafloor-300.

3,600 feet of 2” PVC SCH40 Pressure Pipe pipeline will be installed (180 20’ lengths). The majority of the pipeline will be new (3,000 feet), extending an already existing pipeline, while the remaining pipeline will replace the old degraded pipeline (600 feet).

The new pipeline begins at the newly constructed tank at 2,099 feet elevation, and the old pipeline begins at the tank to be repaired at 1,938 feet elevation, both lines extend down to 1,757 feet elevation. No pumps are required, as this is a gravity feed water system.

Stakeholders in the project include the Clarendon Parish Council Roads and Works Department, the Forestry Department, and Red Hills Primary and Infant School. The project is set to have a profound impact on the Red Lands Community through a more consistent and reliable supply of water to homes, businesses, and churches. The creation and implementation of a management plan will continue to rehabilitate the current water system with aims at eventually providing water to Red Hills and Red Hills Primary and Infant School.

The Project will also train several individuals from the Red Lands community in Project Design and Management, and Grant Writing to equip them with the skills and knowledge to apply for grant funding in the future without the help of the Peace Corps, or any other organization.

An improvement and expansion of the current domestic water system will allow community members the ability to spend more time on income-generating activities, like operating small businesses, farming, social activities, such as parenting and community groups, and educational activities, including higher education, assisting with their child’s education, or expanding their education through self-help means.

Each aspect of the project is being completed by community members including the project design. Project leaders have put in a total of 20 hours of class time per person (140 hours total), to learn project design and management, and to design the project, as well as numerous additional hours to complete a community survey, gathering material invoices, locating and negotiating land for the tank, surveying the current water system, and completing a project plan on their own as a portion of the required coursework.

These same project leaders will be organizing and leading community meetings, designing a management plan for the system, organizing material pick up and work for crews, constructing the water tank, pipe installation, doing repair work, carrying out project management and evaluation, as well as continuing their coursework on project design and management.

The community as a whole will contribute to the project through labor, water system installment, providing cooked lunch for workers, as well as their continued involvement in the project as outlined in the water user agreement. The community contribution will account for 26% of the project total.

In order to sufficiently address each component of the project, the following steps will be implemented:

• Hold Community Meeting to Inform Community of Project
• Recruit Interested individuals for Project Design and Management and Grant Writing Course
• Begin Weekly Planning Meetings for Project Design and Management and Grant Writing
• Create a Timeline/Action Plan For Project
• Secure Land For Tank Construction
• Water Tank Design and Construction Planning, Tank and Pipeline Rehabilitation Planning
• Household Survey Concerning Water Flow, Quality, Census and Inform Residents of Project
• Gather Quotations on Material/Supplies List From Local Hardware
• Students In Project Design and MGMT Course will complete a rough draft of the Project Application
• Hold Community Meeting to Inform Community of Project, Management Plan, and Water User Agreement
• Elect Water Management Committee, Begin Designing Community Water Management Plan and Water User Agreement
• Consult Trained Workmen and Gather Labor Force for cleaning/brushing work area, and Tank construction
• Schedule and Plan Community Work Days, Including Catering
• Arrange for Collection and Storage of Materials, Including Collection of all receipts
• Begin Installation of 1 Concrete Water Tank
• Begin Repair of 1 Concrete Water Tank
• Begin Installation of 1 Pipeline System
• Continued Monitoring of Project to Keep on Schedule, Make Necessary Adjustments
• Create Map and Schematic of Water System With all Outlets, Label Outlet Destinations
• Hold Community Unveiling Ceremony For New Water System
• Write Appreciation Letters to stakeholders and Contributors
• Complete Final PCPP Evaluation and Submit

Project Impact
259 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Ian Hash

Monitoring and Maintenance
One of the major components of the Red Lands Water System Improvement Project is to ensure the sustainability of the project into the future. The system that is currently in Red Lands has deteriorated over time, to the point that it is hardly functioning by any measure, giving community members a firsthand perspective of why the monitoring and maintenance of the water system are important to sustain it.

In order to appropriately address the issue of sustainability, we have measures were taken to form a Community Water Management Committee as well as a Community Water System Management Plan. The management plan will include provisions to monitor the entire system every month, assess maintenance needs, collect monthly fees as a part of the Water User Agreement to cover materials and repairs, as well as outlining steps for the Water Management Committee to take regarding enforcement of all rules associated with the Water User Agreement.

Until the point of project completion, the project will be monitored and evaluated by the Peace Corps Volunteer with the assistance of community members.

Further improvements on the system, as well as other community improvements (community center, technology center, etc.), will be up to the community to pursue with the skills they have gained from their experiences with this project

Fundraising Target

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed

$0 – This project has been funded through the generosity of the Paul Bechtner Foundation.

Additional donations will go toward funding other projects in Jamaica.