Sunsulaca Water System Project – El Salvador

This project is to build a new water tank for the communities of El Tablon, Los Fuentes and Agua Zarca in the town of Sunsulaca. It is being implemented under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Elsa Augustine.

Municipality of Cacaopera, department of Morazán, El Salvador

Sunsulaca Water System Project - El Salvador

Community Description
Sunsulaca is a small community located in northeastern El Salvador in the municipality of Cacaopera in the department of Morazán. Sunsulaca is a rural, agrarian community that is located 9 kilometers outside of San Francisco Gotera, the capital city of the department of Morazán, and 160 kilometers from the country´s capital, San Salvador.

Guerrilla forces were based in this region during the Salvadoran civil war (1980-1992), and the fighting that occurred in the region did great damage and left Morazán the poorest department in all of El Salvador. Since the end of the war, Morazán and the rest of El Salvador have worked hard to develop infrastructure that is suitable for the ever-growing Salvadoran population, but this has proved a constant challenge, especially when it comes to finding secure, potable water sources.

The neighborhoods of El Tablon, Los Fuentes, and Agua Zarca within Sunsulaca have joined together to form a community water committee (Proyecto Comunitario de Agua Potable) to address their common need for potable water. This committee has successfully constructed a functional water system, but it is of insufficient capacity to meet the water demands of all community members, especially as the population continues to grow.

The committee constructed a large water tank at the edge of the river, from where all of the community water is drawn. This tank collects water, and then, using electricity, pumps the water up to a receptor tank, which is located at high elevation on the top of a hill, Cerro Caballo, in the center of the community. From there, by force of gravity, water runs from the tank into the households that are connected to the water system at set times every day.

While the mechanics of this water system work well, the water tank that serves as a receptor in the center of town is too small to pump water to all of the households in the community at a sufficient rate.

At the moment, approximately 85 households are able to receive water from this system every day, while there are more than 110 households total that would ideally be able to draw water from this source.

Those who are not currently connected to the water system are forced to travel to the river for all of their needs, whether it is to wash clothes and bathe in the river, or haul buckets of water back to the house for cooking and drinking. Also, those who are connected to the water system and do receive running water in their house still do not receive water at a frequency that would be ideal to meet all of their water needs.

The water committee has already taken measures to install a chlorification mechanism into the water tank, so the water that is reaching houses through the water system is treated and potable.

Sunsulaca Water System Project - El Salvador

Project Description
Under the direction of the Proyecto Comunitario de Agua Potable (Community Potable Water Project), a large receptor tank will be built on Cerro Caballo, a hill that is central to the community, so that all households will receive potable water. The additional capacity will allow for water to be delivered for up to 5 hours each day.

The majority of materials necessary to complete this project have already been acquired through various donations. The land where the tank will be constructed was donated by a member of the community, and the water committee plans to do all of the labor themselves with the help of future beneficiaries of the water tank project.

Water Charity funds will be used to buy the remaining materials that are needed to complete construction of the water tank (sand, cement, bricks, and gravel), as well as to pay part of the daily fee of the carpenter who will lend technical expertise to the community members who do the manual labor.

Project Impact
This project will immediately directly benefit approximately 550 citizens of Sunsulaca in 110 households. As the community continues to expand in the coming years, an additional 15-25 people will benefit each year.

This is an important infrastructure project that will ensure a regular supply of safe water to 3 communities. It has tremendous community participation and support, and will improve the health and wellbeing of the entire town.

$0.00 – This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of the Debi Kerr and Charles Augustine, of Boston, MA, USA.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Elsa Augustine of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Elsa and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.

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