Marneuli Youth Center Water Project – Georgia

City Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli, Republic of Georgia

Community Description
Marneuli is a town of about 20,000, 30 km from Tbilisi (about an hour by public transportation). The town is about 80% Azerbaijani, 15% Georgian, and 5% Armenian, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, and other. As a result, Marneuli is considered a minority town and there have been numerous programs to encourage ethnic integration.

One of these programs was the creation of the Marneuli Youth Center (MYC). The MYC serves youth aged 11-21 of all ethnicities through computer courses, language courses, and sports classes. Altogether there are about 250-300 participants (depending the time of year).

There are at least 100 youth who participate in sports activities. Many of them do not have access to showers at their homes, which creates a serious sanitation problem for them after practicing boxing, kickboxing, gymnastics, or weight lifting. In addition, the weightlifting equipment, gymnastics mats, and boxing ring all need to be cleaned regularly with hot water. The facility presently cannot provide for these functions.

Project Description
This project will provide a steady supply of water to the Marneuli Youth Center (MYC). There is an existing cistern that can be used for storage. A water meter, water pump, and pipes will be purchased and installed in order to fill the cistern and bring the water from the cistern to the building. Additionally, new Turkish toilets will be purchased, as well as sinks, shower heads, and a water heater for the inside of the building.

The existing cistern holds about 2,000 gallons and is located on top of an adjacent building (owned by the youth center) about 20 feet off the ground. It was originally the back of a tanker truck, but has been retrofitted to work as a water cistern (this is fairly common in Georgia). This means that it has been cleaned and there are pipe fittings leading into the tank and out of it.

The cistern is filled from the city water. To do this it needs to be pumped from the city main (which has very low pressure and will not force the water up to the tank) through an existing line. Currently this main is closed off but will be opened when MYC pays the city to install the meter.

The water supply is reliable. Water runs in Marneuli on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays for at least six hours. On any of these days the pump can be turned on and water will be pumped into the cistern. Once the cistern is filled, it should only take around 30 minutes to refill it on any particular “water day.” The water itself is potable and does not need to be filtered.

The pump will be placed in the hole, which will subsequently be covered after all renovations are completed. Although this “pump and cistern” system may seem like a strange method, this is how all of Marneuli “draws” water since water is not turned on every day.

The city government requires that anyone hooked up to a water main install a meter in order to measure how much water they are using. The city installs the meter and this will also be placed in the existing cavity, directly connected to the main and next to the pump.

A pipe will be run from the main to the pump, from the pump to the cistern, and finally from the cistern to the building. About 15 yards of piping will be required to connect the system together. Plastic piping will be used to avoid higher pipe costs and welding costs. Marneuli winters rarely stay below zero for an extended period of time and this system should cause the least problems.

A gas water heater will be purchased and installed. This is the best choice, since gas is much cheaper than electricity in Marneuli. The water is heated as it runs through the apparatus instead of heating up a small water reservoir. This method is used by most of Marneuli and besides being cost-effective it heats water very well. There is an existing gas line in the bathroom where the heater will be placed, making installation easy.

The MYC’s administrators and participants will do the work with full cooperation from the PCV. Several participants at the center have knowledge of running pipes, installing pumps, and installing toilets and they are willing to help. All of the fixtures and materials can be procured locally.

Project Impact
250-300 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Benjamin Bamberger

This project accomplishes a lot with a small amount of money to be used for fixtures and materials. It makes MYC a more functional and healthful place for people to come together and utilize the services offered.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Benjamin of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by the PCV and/or other projects in the country of service.

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