Stonehenge Water Project – Jamaica

Stonehenge, Jamaica

Community Description
Stonehenge is a very remote community that once was a major stop on the railway line that connected Jamaica’s capitol Kingston with Montego Bay. When the train line was decommissioned in 1993 Stonehenge’s economy was devastated. Today, the majority of the remaining Stonehenge residents are small-scale farmers and wood carvers who live well below the poverty line.

Stonehenge is blessed with many springs that dot the hillsides and infrastructure to supply water to its residents. However, the local pump only supplies water once every two weeks and the springs are located in thick brush and jungle that makes accessing them difficult.

To cope with these difficulties residents have saved and invested large portions of their low incomes for large water tanks to harvest rainwater and to store the piped water.

Unfortunately, because many residents don’t pay for their piped water and cannot afford the necessary lock-off devices they leave their water taps always open so they do not miss the opportunity to fill their tanks. This causes large volumes of piped water to overflow when tanks are full. Furthermore, water often does not reach several outlying homes.

In addition, the students of Orange Hill All Age School often have no drinking water, no water to wash their hands, and no lunch because there is no water to cook meals. Students are sometimes sent home when they need to use the bathroom.

Project Description
This project will double the water storage capacity at the Orange Hill All Age School, and also improve the management of water in the community.

First, Orange Hill All Age School will double the size of its current water storage capacity with a 1,000-gallon tank. This will ensure that students have drinking and cooking water during times that water is not pumped.

Second, with the donated labor of the community, Orange Hill All Age School will relay PVC pipe so that harvested rainwater is used to flush the schools toilets thus conserving limited piped water.

Third, float-style water lock-off valves (like in a toilet) will be installed in water storage tanks at the school and the homes of 10 needy residents who do not pay for their water. This measure will increase awareness of the importance of conserving water, increase the length of time water is in the pipe, increase the distance water can be pumped, and ensure that residents do not miss the opportunity to fill their tanks.

Project Impact
This project will benefit 79 students, 5 school staff members and 200 households.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Gavin Finnegan

The lack of a reliable source of water at Orange Hill All Age School has been a major health and safety concern. In addition, the current system has caused water to be wasted and many households to remain unserved. This comprehensive project arose from the needs of the community, and addresses all of the outstanding water issues.

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.

An additional donation of $500 was made by James Berg, of Scottsdale, AZ, USA, to be used to fund the next project by Gavin and/or those of other PCVs in Jamaica.

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