Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

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

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Barrio Xxx Xxxxx, Maria Auxiliadora, Arquitecto Tomás Romero Pereira District, Department of Itapúa, Paraguay

Community Description
Xxx Xxxxx is a small agricultural community in the southern department of Itapúa, nestled within what remains of the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest. 2017 unofficial census data reports that 36 families and over 200 people live in the community, with many more children that commute from surrounding communities to attend the school which offers primary and an accelerated high school program.

Most families are subsistence farmers, with their primary source of income based around the production of soy, wheat, corn, beets and carrots cultivated for exportation. The community’s small producers and women’s committee also produce a variety of animal products and artisanal items that they sell locally and in the nearby pueblo of Maria Auxiliadora. Much of social life revolves around the church and school events, community organizational group meetings, and soccer games that are held most Sundays.

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayProblem Addressed
While most highly populated areas in Paraguay have access to running water, there are still many interior communities that lack access to potable water, resulting in higher rates of illness, inappropriate waste management, and poor sanitation practices.

Many families in Xxx Xxxxx have a shallow common well on their property or are within walking distance of one, but recurring dry summers have made it so that a reliable water source is not always available for drinking, animal care, or crop production. Intensively farmed soy and unsustainable farming practices have resulted in substantial water contamination. Disease from waterborne illness is a consistent issue for many families.

The community school has been without running water for much of its existence, affecting more than 200 children. While the students often bring their own water by bottle, they tend to commute to the school by foot and often exhaust their water rations before class starts, with no way to refill their bottle for the rest of the day. This is the main concern of the community, which affects families living inside and around the proposed water system.

For the past decade, the community had been working with the national organization SENASA to establish a well, tower, and water line system that would reach community houses, a church, and school. Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, the community had been left with an unfinished system attached to a dry well at the end of the government project in 2004. That project left more than 6 kilometers of connected and installed water lines off the main road in the community. The neighborhood has since completed another well with the help of the municipality, but funding has been stretched thin, considering the neighborhood is one of many that have the same problem in the district.

Project Description
This project is to complete the water system, including installing a pump on the well, building a water tower and tank, and installing water lines to the remaining houses in the community.

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayThe well and tower site are on the properties of community members that have agreed to donate the use of their land to house the well-system, lines, and tower.

The well was excavated in 2016 at a depth of 120 meters with water pressure at 12,000 liters/hour (as of testing date 07/05/2017).

The primary components of the project will be to:

(1) Coordinate with the water commission leaders, the local municipality, and the well company’s engineer to equip the well with a motor and transformer

(2) Erect and connect the 15,000-liter steel water tower to the well system

(3) Utilize a government-donated backhoe to excavate and install short distance water lines to the remaining 16 of 36 community properties that are not already connected to the system

(4) Work with community leadership to establish water system management techniques, and water hygiene and quality standards

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayMaria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

Water Charity funding will be allocated to cost of the electric submersible 3 HP/220 Monofasico motor with a 1.25 inch, 10 kg pressure internal pipe, a 10 Kva transformer with concrete post and electric meter, 280 meters of 16 mm copper cable, 7 hardwood posts, and necessary electrical installation/ documentation with national electric company

The construction of the 15,000-liter steel tank, tower, grounding rods, beacon, transportations fees and subsequent polyvinyl chloride (PVC) water lines will be the responsibility of the community and municipality who have agreed to contribute this financial and labor intensive support to the project.

A series of workshops on effective leadership and organization will be conducted, facilitated by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs), covering topics related to water system management, organizational transparency, and accountability standards. Through these workshops, the commission and community members have the opportunity to develop and implement a long-term management plan for the water system, resulting in a stronger relationship of respect and trust among the community members that will ensure the longevity of the water system.

Project Impact
400 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteers Directing Project
R. Rasmussen and R. Martinez

Monitoring and Maintenance
Currently serving PCVs will continue to monitor the project through the end of their services (December 2017), but the main focus is placed on the community’s water commission to conduct long term management of the water system and its continued maintenance.

Long term sustainability will be achieved through the following steps:

(1) The establishment of a sustainable long-term water system maintenance plan and payment schedule, agreed upon by community members

(2) Commission leadership participation in and co-facilitation of educational workshops with PCVs and community members on the workings of the water system and its long-term management

(3) Conducted workshops (facilitated through the current PCVs) with commission leaders on effective organizational leadership, focusing on the importance of accountability, communication, and transparency

(4) Collaborative teachings (facilitated by community leadership and current PCVs) at the school that focuses on water quality, hygiene, and the prevention of water borne illness.

The water system will be installed by an engineer from a reputable company and will provide the community with a 1-year system guarantee and continuous on-call maintenance support.

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

Funds Needed : 

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