Caimital Solar Well Pump Project – Panama

Caimital, Corregimiento de Tulu, Distrito de Penonome, Provincia de Cocle, Panama

Caimital Solar Well Pump Project - Panama

Community Description
Caimital is a rural community in the Penonome district of Cocle with a population of 175 people.

There is a primary school with one teacher for all six grade levels, one through six. Several committees exist within the community including Parent Teacher Association, Water Committee, Electrification Focus Group, Catholic Committee, and several sports teams.

The majority of residents work in Penonome, which is located just a 25-minute bus ride from Caimital. Many residents maintain small agricultural plots near their houses for family sustenance.

Problem Addressed
The community developed a clean well-water source that is sufficient to serve the entire population. A 150- foot-deep well was dug in 2007, and a diesel turbine was installed.

All houses in the lower part of the community are connected to the aqueduct system. However, due to the lack of reliability of the old diesel turbine for pumping, and the high cost of fuel, the low-resource community currently has access to running water for less than 2 hours per week.

Caimital Solar Well Pump Project - Panama

Residents are forced to seek out water from other sources, most of which are unprotected and of questionable quality.

Project Description
This project is to install an 850-watt solar panel array and an electric pump to pump the water to the community storage tank, where it will then be fed by gravity to the homes below.

The project is being implemented as part of the Peace Corps Partnership Program by the Water Committee of Caimital. The committee will work with experienced technicians from Luz Buena on the installation.

The community contribution will include all unskilled labor, and some masonry work as needed to rebuild the pump housing and construct a protective fence around the solar panel array. The community will also provide concrete, sheets of zinc, and the majority of raw construction materials.

Food for workdays will be provided and prepared by community members.

Water Charity funds will be used for the purchase of ten 85W panels, a Lorentz 1200 pump, associated parts, and skilled labor.

Caimital Solar Well Pump Project - Panama

In order to ensure project sustainability, a Water Committee Seminar will be held to train the water committee and all interested community members in the maintenance, management, and troubleshooting of rural aqueducts. There will also be a seminar introducing the community to solar power systems and explaining basic functions and maintenance.

The community will collect small fees monthly to be saved for maintenance or replacement parts for the system. The community will independently operate and perform basic repairs on the system as needed.

Project Impact
131 people in 27 households will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Lindsay D’Amato

After the implementation of this project, all of the residents in Caimital ‘abajo’ will have running water in their homes 24 hours a day. The school and church will also have water available for the first time.

Sanitation practices will improve significantly with the arrival of daily running water in each house. It will no longer be necessary to bathe or wash dishes in the dirty River Marica, a development which will have a positive impact on the overall health of the community. The monthly household expenditure for diesel fuel will drop, allowing those funds to go toward other pertinent family needs.

Dollar Amount of Water Charity Participation in Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed

$0.00 – This project has now been funded through the generosity of the Elmo Foundation.

This project has been finished.  To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.