Fully Funded

Nyiragongo Water Filter Training Project - Democratic Republic of Congo

Bio-Sand Filter Congo

Another Huge Water Filter Training for the DRC!

Location
Nyiragongo, DRC

Water Line DRCMuja group; including the Territory of Nyiragongo and the Territory of Masisi. The training will take place in the city of Rubaya in Masisi region nearby. Both territories are in North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the women will come from 200+ villages around Nyiragongo.

Community Description
The territory of Nyiragongo and Masisi are entities of the North Kivu province. Nyiragongo is not far from the city of Goma, and has a volcanic environment. They are poor, in part, because of a government that has completely ignored the needs of the population.   

The land is fertile, but the water sources are few. The population waits for the rainy season to dig shallow holes and collect rainwater. Those who have the means walk 10 km or more to the city of Goma or Rubaya to get water. Sadly, the area is surrounded by mines.

The few water resources that do exist are heavily used in the extraction of minerals. Communities use dirty water coming from the quarries. The presence of rare earth minerals like coltan and beryllium have led to decades of conflict. While some foreign companies have grown rich on these resources, having a large amount of the most valuable elements on Earth hasn't benefited the local population... but on the contrary has made their lives a living hell on occasion, as various militias, armies and mercenary groups come through the area and ravage the land, kill people, rape the women and pillage the resources.

Now, at this point, the hundreds of villages in the area are nearly depleted of adult men, and are composed almost entirely of women, children and the elderly.  The men have either fled, been conscripted into government or rebel armies, or been killed.

Women of the MUSOsThe women of the region, against all odds, have banded together to form collective groups that are working to raise up this area, and have been very successful in providing for their own needs... serving the functions that governments usually serve in most countries. They have banded together in what are known as MUSOs (Mutual Use Sustainability Organizations), and created one of the largest and most successful self-help communities going in the world now. They have built health clinics, hired doctors and surgeons, kept up vital infrastructure, and now want to deal with their water issues!

This training project is being done with the Peace Center for Healing and the Reconstruction of Community Foundations (CPGRBC is the French acronym). This Congolese NGO is trying to help the people of the region in a number of ways. The CPGRBC today works in the field of rebuilding communities in Masisi, Walikale and Nyiragongo that have been long torn by armed and ethnic conflicts. It has implemented more than 120 peace committees, which are local structures of peace who work in their communities towards reconciliation and solidarity.  It has established 50 groups of women working in micro-credit. Also, the CPGRBC is working on a trauma healing program in the fight against neglected tropical diseases by assisting vulnerable people in Nyiragongo eradicate chiggers and waterborne diseases. 

Household in NyiragongoProblem Addressed
The lack of water in this area around the volcanoes, and the pollution that has engulfed the rivers used since ancient times, creates the current situation that the population her lives in water scarcity and is suffering from many different kinds of diseases. A major problem in the area is waterborne diseases due to water scarcity and consumption of unsafe water. Support these communities in their effort to drink clean water would help improve their health tremendously.

CPGRBC approached our friends at Friendly Water with the desire fight against diseases related to the consumption of unsafe water by providing opportunities for communities to obtain, make and distribute bio-sand filters. Water Charity was thrilled to be able to lend aid for this worthy goal, and decided to fund the entire effort.

Project Description
This project will consist of a series of 6-day trainings for a couple hundred women in the manufacture, use and upkeep of cement bio-sand water filters. The women will receive molds, tools and materials to make their first filters and will be trained on ways to turn all of this into small businesses for themselves, their MUSOs and their communities. Manuals and printed training materials will be given out in Swahili, English, French, Kinyarwanda, and a light lunch and tea for all participants will be provided every day.

Training women in DRC

The training will be conducted by Aristotle Lubao Mbairwe (Trainer with FW & CPGRBC), Zawadi Nikuze (CPGRBC leader), and Zawadi Mburano (also of CPGRBC). The training is in concert with Dr. Kambale Musubao (FW medical officer) and MUSO organizers.  CPGRBC and the MUSOs themselves are even coming up with a decent portion of the costs for this training.

The women who receive this training will go home with a functioning filter, but will also have the molds and designs to make as many as they can. They will be instructed in techniques to sell filters they make, sell clean water that they generate with their filters, and to proliferate the technology to others.

The profits made from some of the sales will go towards procuring more materials and molds. In this way, the projects are infinitely sustainable, generate income for these women, and can potentially reach and assist all the women in these villages via the MUSO system and the help of the CPGRBC.  FW & WC are proud to be able to create such a large and beneficial "ripple effect" with this project.

Project Impact
All residents of the 200+ villages in the region will benefit from this work.  In time, as many as 300,000 people could profit, as clean water, water filters, and the knowledge of how to make more disperses in these MUSO communities that are dedicated to sharing and mutual solidarity.
 
Kambale and WomenVolunteer Directing Project
Zawadi Nikuze is directing this project on the ground, and management is under the direction of David Albert, Board Chairman of Friendly Water for the World, with Water Charity overseeing.  See below for Zawadi's story.

Monitoring and Maintenance
CPGRBC and FW representatives will monitor the project and forward its objectives, but its maintenance will fall mainly to the women themselves and the MUSOs they belong to.  Given how self-motivated these remarkable women are, and have proven themselves to be in the face of all manner of adversity, we have no doubt that they will bring this raw strength and ability to bear on solving their water quality issues, and eradicate the scourge of waterborne illnesses from their lives entirely.
 

Comments
This project is part of our Training and Support Initiative, and is a sister project to our Minova Water Filter Training Project.

In the past, the ongoing war in Goma prevented training activities, and the general situation in the DRC kept WC from operating there due to our model of helping people efficiently as possible and never asking our volunteers to put themselves in harm's way.  We are extremely happy now, however, to be able to render aid in such a needy area, and in such a sustainable way.

     History and the present:

•    In late 2007-early 2008, a new phase of the Congolese war resulted in hundreds of thousands of people streaming out of the countryside toward the city of Goma.
•    Without any preparation or permission, they set up their own makeshift refugee camp southwest of the city. It is said to have grown quickly to almost 200,000 people.
•    Some international organizations attempted to provide material assistance there.
Zawadi Nikuze•    A small group of Quakers led by Zawadi Nikuze, a Quaker social worker, worked in the camp. The main work that the Quakers were involved in was trauma healing and reconciliation efforts, especially trying to prevent conflicts within the camp from erupting into violence.
•    In 2009, the government decided they did not want a refugee camp there, and sent troops to oust people from the camp. They sent tens of thousands of people out into the countryside, to “return to their homes” (but most of their homes had been destroyed). Thousands are said to have died of starvation, exposure, and in the ongoing military conflict.
•    Some 200 women, many with young children, refused to go, even at gunpoint. These women were survivors of rape, and had been rejected by their families and could not thus not even join the diaspora. 
•    Zawadi began working with these women, found primitive places for them to stay in Goma, and to provide them with minimum support.
•    Zawadi’s organization became one of “participatory development” alongside its trauma healing and peacebuilding activities. It is non-sectarian.
•    Zawadi came on three speaking tours to the U.S.
•    Zawadi was trained by Friendly Water in Newberg, Oregon in October 2013. (She was 8 months pregnant at the time.)
•    In March 2014, Friendly Water for the World held a training in Goma, Congo, which spawned three new groups: one associated with Dr. Kambale Musubao and the MUSO groups; one associated with Zawadi and CPGRBC; and God in Us-Africa, in Gisenyi, Rwanda. All three became hugely successful.
•    The women rape survivor affiliated with CPGRBC built and installed the first Filters in the 26 Goma orphanage, and later formed a major part of the program that eliminated cholera in all of them.
•    CPGRBC has expanded to encompass some 120 local peace committees and 50 groups of women. Most are working on trauma healing and reconciliation activities.
•    Later, it is hoped that members of CPGRBC will receive training in the fabrication of rainwater catchment systems/ferro-cement tanks, so that the open cisterns will no longer be able to spread disease. WC is happy to support them in this.

This project has been fully funded by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.  If you would like to see us expand, scale up and do more projects like this one, use the DONATE button below, and your donation will go to more training projects like this one.  

 

Women of Nyiragongo
Manager and Orphanage in Goma
Sand Making
Ndosho Orphanage
 

 

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Minova Water Filter & Training Project - Democratic Republic of Congo

Women's Center - Congo

Our 1st Water Filter Training Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo

NPCA and WC logos

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

 

Village of MinovaLocation
Minova, DRC

50 km west of Goma, on the northwest shore of Lake Kivu, in South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo

Community Description
The village has about 30,000 inhabitants, plus 5,200 internally displaced people in camps (refugees). There are another 30,000 or so in three surrounding villages.

The surrounding area is mountainous, with numerous volcanoes. The volcanic soil is fertile, but does not hold water well.

     War Torn Area

  • For the past 20 years, war has raged throughout the area, mostly over control of natural resources, including coltan.
  • In 2012, Congolese government forces, backed by United Nations troops, fought and lost a major battle with M23 (and perhaps other) militia forces in Goma.
  • Congolese troops retreated to Minova, where besides other destruction and killings, they raped at least 139 women and young girls as young as nine years old.
  • Following an international outcry, a trial of 37 low-ranking soldiers was held in Goma, Dozens of survivors testified.
  • Only two were found guilty of rape.
  • The events and the trial are depicted in the 2015 Academy Awards shortlisted short film The Testimony. http://www.thetestimonyfilm.com/  (It can be seen on Netflix.) Photos from the trial can be seen here: http://www.dianazeynebalhindawi.com/the-minova-rape-trials-congo-2014/

  Woman With Baby   Women Coming Together

  • Almost all the women had been farmers.
  • Most of the husbands of the women who had been raped deserted them, leaving them without funds to send their children to school, or enough labor to tend their fields effectively. Food became scarce, and hunger common.
  • HIV had been relatively uncommon in Minova. However, the war – and rape – brought HIV to the community.
  • A community leader named Masika Katsuva, who was among those raped, stepped forward to help organize a group of the women in agriculture (180 in all), to give them a voice, and to help them come forward at the rape trial. She also set up a center for women and children abandoned by their families.
  • Masika’s story is told in the 2014 feature-length documentary film Seeds of Hope. http://www.seedsofhopefilm.co.uk/ Watch the trailer on the website.
  • Masika’s organization APDUD received significant international support before and during the trial.
  • International support of APDUD fell off significantly after the trial.

In February 2016, Masika died, leaving APDUD in some disarray. Her daughter Desanges hopes to revitalize the organization, and at only 23 years of age, has already done a lot to promote the organization and organize local women.

It is through Masika's women's center organization APDUD, and working with Desanges Kamate Kabua, Congolese NGO leader Herman Chirahambali, and our friends at Friendly Water For The World, that Water Charity will be conducting this support and training in much needed water filters. Herman met Dr. Kambale who does training and work for Friendly Water, and recognized the need for this project immediately.

Problem Addressed
The area is prone to large amounts of waterborne illnesses.  Cholera, dysentery, and a host of other pathogenic microbes pollute all the available water sources, and sickness due to these microbes is a huge problem.  Children under 5 are especially vulnerable to such illnesses. Worldwide it is the 2nd leading cause of death for children, and in the DRC, Diarrheal Diseases are the #1 cause of death (according to the CDC and the WHO)! 

Desanges and kids!Project Description
Water Charity will fund a biosand filter workshop led by trainers Dr. Kambale Musubao and Aristote Lubao Mbairwe (who work with our friends at Friendly Water Congo), for the women of Minova.  At least 35 women will be provided with a 5-6 day training on how to construct, use, and care for their own biosand filters. These filters, when used correctly, can basically last forever... especially the cement mold types we will train them to make. 

We will provide them with a few molds, and materials enough for all of the women to make their own filter.  Manuals and printed training materials will be given out in Swahili, English, French, Kinyarwanda. Furthermore, they will receive business training by which they will build filters, and sell them (as well as water) to the people of the Minova area.  

There will be an office established at the Women's Center whereby the women of the program can advertise and sell their product... and in time, they can even begin to conduct their own trainings to spread the technology.

Funds raised by selling water and filters will go towards purchasing more molds, more materials and more tools.  Filters and water are in high demand, so there is every reason to believe that this effort will be sustainable, effective and successful.  We expect that more women will come wanting to learn how to make these lifesaving devices, and the Women's Center will be happy to share this with them.  Thus, in a short time, the ability to make effective water filters will spread across the region.

All in all, a very sustainable effort with a great deal of positive "ripple effect!"

Project Impact
The project has the potential to help and impact all of the 65,000 plus people in the Minova area (Minova town, refugees, and the 3 neighboring villages).  The direct, immediate beneficiaries include all the families and friends of the women of the Women's center, as well as everyone who purchases a filter or water from them.  This number is hard to pinpoint, but it should amount to 5,000 or more people in the first year alone.

Volunteers Directing Project
Herman and Desanges will be running the project on the ground, and management of the project will be under the direction of David Albert, Board Chairman of Friendly Water for the World, with Water Charity overseeing. 

Herman Chirahambali

  • ​Herman is a former school principal. His career came to his end when soldiers came and occupied his school, destroying all desks and burning all books. His mother was killed when rebels pillaged his village. His sister died of AIDS, the result of war-related rape. His wife died giving birth to his second child, who also died.
  • Today, Herman is a volunteer for a non-profit that teaches environmental stewardship through language. They teach female farmers native literacy classes and also run an after-school English language program for children. They reach hundreds of women and children, yet still struggle to raise the $6.00/month they need to rent their classroom while operating with no computer and only a few books.

Minova Farmer Woman

Desanges Kamate Kabua

  • Daughter of Women's Center founder and current organizer and leader of APDUD.
  • It was her drive to help the families of Minova that led to FW and WC becoming involved in this wonderful project.

Monitoring and Maintenance
Eliphaz Bashilwango (FW representative) will be tasked with reporting, in concert with Herman and Desanges, who will be there on the ground to make sure the project achieves its goals.  Should further training and assistance become necessary, any of these individuals will be able to contact WC & FW and request such aid.

Comments
This noteworthy project is part of our Training and Support Initiative, and is a sister project to our even larger and more comprehensive DRC filter project in Nyiragongo, which is being started promptly. It is our desire to have a continuing and substantial effect on these communities, so expect even more projects of this nature there, including training the women to build rainwater catchments and fero-cement water tanks!

This project has been fully funded by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.  If you would like to see us expand, scale up and do more projects like this one, use the DONATE button below, and your donation will go to more training projects like this one.  Use the comments if you wish your donation to be used for DRC projects specifically.

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

 

Rape victims group

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Wondo Genet Well Rehab Program - Ethiopia

Fetching water in Wondo Genet

Phase 2 of our Ethiopia Well Rehab ProgramPromoting Transformation and Hope among the Most Marginalized in EthiopiaNPCA & WC LOGOS

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Non functioning wellLocation
Five villages in the Wondo Genet region of Ethiopia, spread across three Kebeles (counties).  Kube, Wuchale 1, Lomicha, Wuchale 2, and Abosa.

Community Description
Wondo Genet is in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia, about a four-hour drive south of Addis Ababa. It also is part of the Sidama Zone located in the Great Rift Valley.  Wondo Genet is bordered on the south by Malga, on the west by Awasa Zuria, and on the north and east by the Oromia Region. Based on the 2007 Census, this woreda has a total population of 155,715, of whom 79,664 are men and 76,051 women; 23,125 or 14.85% of its population are urban dwellers.

This region has been suffering from an interminable drought, as well as intractable poverty.  As such, they desperately need assistance to meet their basic living requirements.  The people of these 5 villages have wells which have fallen into disrepair, and are currently unusable... thus making their hard lives even harder.

Problem Addressed
A WaSH survey conducted by the district water office shows that there are 60 existing wells that are not functioning and need repair to provide water to the respective communities. To meet demand, 81 new wells need to be constructed.  Studies have shown that operation and maintenance of water supplies fail after a short period of time because of poor operation and lack of effective maintenance. The district water office has no budget for maintenance and cannot effectively provide technical support. Delay or negligence in operation and maintenance of water facilities negatively impacts the wellbeing of the population, forcing them to travel long distances and wait in lengthy queues for potable water.  Many people resort to dangerous undeveloped water sources, most of which amount to nothing more than a muddy pit.  Naturally, this causes severe, and often deadly, health concerns with a high incidence of waterborne illness.

Project Description
This project is to rebuild 5 wells, one in each of 5 villages. 

Gathering water with donkeyWater Charity has initiated the repairs by partnering with local NGOs to drill the wells deeper, replace handpumps, and otherwise enact repairs that will bring water back to the people of these villages.

Our friends at Water is Life International have people on the ground and a substantial infrastructure for doing WaSH work in the region, including a number of well-drilling rigs donated by our partners at Wine to Water.  By partnering with these groups, WC is able to do these projects at a fraction of their normal cost, without having to have our own personnel waste valuable funds in transit.

Before the repair work begins, an intentional process to engage the community and the government is followed in order to avoid a handout-mentality that can create dependency.  After receiving government permission, a Water Use Committee (WUC) has been elected in each community to take responsibility for the use and maintenance of the repaired well.  The WUC is comprised of four women and three men, which ensures that women will have a strong voice and position to manage the well.  The management of the well by the WUC usually includes charging a nominal fee to the users, in order to maintain a fund for repairs.  This fund is then used for maintenance and repairs to keep the pump operational. In this way our repaired wells are unlikely to meet the fate of many such wells in the region, and should be functional far into the foreseeable future.

Gathering water from a streamA productive and functioning well brings joy to the community as it promotes a healthier life, eases the physical burden of the community, and returns time to women (as the duty of fetching and carrying water traditionally falls to them).  It is vital to the sustainability of the well that the community is involved in the project throughout the entire process for design, planning, and implementation of the project.  WaSH training is provided to the WUC so they can become permanent trainers in the community. The idea is improved sanitation and hygiene behaviors within the community, such as Open Defecation Free areas and consistent handwashing, through the hygiene and sanitation training.

Hydrogeological conditions on site indicate that groundwater is in accessible depth (20 to 30 meter below the ground), has adequate hydraulic conductivity and storage volume and good quality.

Project Impact
Approximately 1,500 people will directly benefit from these repairs... as well as anyone who visits these villages.

Project Management
Josh Elliott, of Wine to Water, is providing administrative oversight for these projects.  And Water is Life technicians are managing the implementation and training aspects.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The WUC set up in each village will be responsible for the monitoring and maintenance of their well.  This will be overseen by WiLI personel who will continue to work with the villagers and train their SLT's.

Undeveloped Water SourceComments
As we have more funding for this program, and its parent programs, Water Charity is committed to continuing this work, and hopes to be able to fix all of the broken wells of Wondo Genet eventually.  As such, we ask you to donate generously.  Every dollar raised in excess of the cost of these rehabs will be spent on further rehabs in the region. 

In this program, as with all WC projects, we have used existing funds to start this project immediately. We only ask for donations once projects are already underway. In this way we can be extremely responsive and speedy in delivering aid where it is needed. Even a short delay in implementation can be costly when dealing with waterborne illness. Other charities reverse this, but we feel time is of the essence. In this way, donating to this program is actually reimbursing us for funds we have already allocated.  The more money we have on hand, the more projects like this we can start.

Dollar Amount of Project
$11,000

This project has been fully funded by an anonymous U.S. donor.  To help us provide more programs like this one, please Donate to our Ethiopia Well Rehab Program.

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


Waiting for water

 
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Water For Zambia Program - Zambia

Water For Zambia Program - Zambia

NPCA - WC Logos

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the National Peace Corps Association.

Location: 
Mansa District School, ZambiMansa District, Luapula Province, Zambia
 
Community Description: 
The primary schools where this project will take place are located in and around Mansa District in the Luapula Provnice of Zambia. These communities and schools are often without electricity and running water. The villages surrounding the schools consist of mud huts with grass thatch roofs. The main source of income in these communities is subsistence farming. 
 
Problem Addressed: 
The lack of safe drinking water at the middle schools of the district is the main problem to be addressed.  
 
Another community need is for food security, as schools are not currently able to create gardens and orchards due to the long distance to reach a water source.  A new water source will allow easy watering of plants and provide improved knowledge of gardening for students, as well as a convenient food supply.
 

Project Description:

This project is to restore water to 13 schools through the installation of a new water pump and associated improvements at each school. 

During Emily’s time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, she recognized the problem of inadequate access to safe drinking water sources throughout her 20-km catchment area. She was shocked to discover that all of the three schools in the area lacked an on-site, working water source.

Borehole and Pump - ZambiaThere was an existing play pump structure at all three schools, but the pumps had not worked since 2009. With the help of Water Charity, she was able to work with a local government group (similar to a Public Works Department) to renovate the water systems at all three primary schools. Each borehole now functional, and is expected to provide access to clean, safe drinking water for 300 people daily for a lifetime of 50 years.

Emily was informed of 13 other schools in Mansa District, with the identical play pump structures, currently facing water crises. She determined that the problem could easily and affordably be solved with the demolition of the existing structures and installation of new Afridev borehole pumps.

 
When she returned home after her Peace Corps service, she vowed to find a way to return to Zambia and renew her efforts to bring safe water to schools in the country.  She reached out to Water Charity to assist her in this endeavor, and a plan was developed for her to go back to Zambia and do this series of projects as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.  Water Charity decided to send her back with enough funding to accomplish this ambitious goal. 
 
This is one of the rare cases where WC paid to send someone to a location, and foot their living expenses while there.  The fact that she is doing 13 schools, and will also be sharing her experience with currently serving PCVs to develop their own WASH development work, makes this cost effective.
 
The work will be supervised by Emily and done by skilled technicians.  At each school, on the first day, there will be some demolition and installation of the pedestals. Then, after one week, allowing the pedestals to cure, the pumps and PVC piping will be installed
 

Each installation will include a runoff area, drain, soak pit, and other improvements as necessary.Mansa School Borehole Project - Zambia

 
Each community will provide the sand and perform the unskilled labor.
 
Each community will create an action plan regarding borehole maintenance, budgeting for spare parts, security, and sensitization of students, teachers, and surrounding communities.
 
Each school will host an orchard and garden.  The project will allow schools to complete other projects which may have been delayed due to a lack of water.
 
During Emily's stay in Zambia, as mentioned above, she will work with serving Peace Corps Volunteers to assist them in developing additional water and sanitation projects.  She will help them with all phases, including conceptualizing with the community, planning and budgeting, implementation, and maintenance and evaluation.  Her efforts in training and support on behalf of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association will result in a continuing flow of needed development projects. 

Project Impact: 
3.900 people will benefit from the project.  
 
Mbaso SchoolEach borehole will provide access to clean, safe drinking water for 300 people daily, for an expected lifetime of 50 years. As a result of this clean drinking water source, communities will experience improved health and sanitation. School absences for teachers and pupils (especially girls) will decrease, improving education for all.  There will be an increased knowledge of gardening and agriculture, food security, and community development.
 
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project: 
Emily McKeone, RPCV
 
Monitoring and Maintenance:
Local Community Maintenance Committees, School Administration, and Mansa District Municipal Council will play roles in the monitoring and maintenance
 
Comments:
In 2014, during Emily McKeone’s Peace Corps service, new boreholes were installed at an initial three primary schools within Mansa District in conjunction with Water Charity, as mentioned above. To read about that project CLICK HERE.  Not only did the communities report improved health and sanitation, but schools were also able to complete construction projects and further develop their infrastructure. This project and its 3 schools/ boreholes served can be considered the pilot project, or 1st project of this program.  Thus, when finished, a total of 16 schools and their defunct boreholes will have been served.
 
Dollar Amount of Project: 
13 additional schools at a cost of $28,000
 

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 - This project has been funded by a major Water Charity donor, who prefers to remain anonymous.

 
Any additional donations will be utilized to fund additional projects in Zambia.
 
Emily at her first borehole project for WC
Water For Zambia

 

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Sandu District Water Project - The Gambia

Sandu District Water Project - The Gambia

NPCA and WC logos

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

Sandu District Water Project - The GambiaLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Xxxxxx Kunda, Sandu District, Upper River Region, The Gambia

Community Description
Xxxxxx is an ethnically Mandinka village with a population of approximately 900, located within Sandu District of the Upper River Region in The Gambia, West Africa. There is a Lower Basic Cycle (up to grade 6) school located less than 2 km from the village where the majority of children attend school.

The village contains 30 compounds, and two hand pump wells used for domestic water supply. The economy of the area relies heavily on farming of peanuts with additional income generated from the selling of garden produce. The community generally farms for subsistence and includes crops such as peanut, maize, millet, beans, rice and other local vegetables.

Problem Addressed
The two hand pump wells in village are used all hours of the day in order to provide the daily water requirements of each compound. Due to the overuse of the wells, at least one well becomes damaged once per month, requiring costly maintenance and forcing villagers to look elsewhere for sources of water (including the nearby river). Using water for drinking from unsafe sources, such as the nearby river, has led to higher rates of waterborne illness and diarrhea.

Sandu District Water Project - The GambiaProject Description
This domestic water supply project will upgrade an existing hand pump well, add a storage tank, and build a water distribution system in the village.

In addition to deepening the well as necessary, the upgrade will include a 4,000 L water tank, a pump with four solar panels, seven taps distributed at major junctions and 462 meters of pipeline. This project will ease the burden of fetching water and provide safe and clean drinking water.

The PCV and counterpart activities include assisting the contractor (Water Point) in purchasing and construction of:

(1) one 4,000 L water tank with tank stand,
(2) 45 meters of well to water tank pipe and 462 meters of land pipe network with seven tap stands,
(3) four solar panels and solar support structure, and
(4) water pump

Other activities include training on proper maintenance and use of the water system, health talks with villagers on waterborne illness and water sources, and talks on time management to assist in girls’ education on study time versus water fetching.

The community has raised 26% of the cost to pay for the project, and will contribute labor in excavation to lay pipe down.

Sandu District Water Project - The GambiaProject Impact
900 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
S. Maccabe

Monitoring and Maintenance
The PCV and counterpart have set up and will work with a water committee in the community to help lead trainings and to monitor the outcomes of the project. Trainings to be conducted will include health talks on water sources and waterborne illness, time management for school children, and maintenance and proper use of the new water system.

Monitoring the outcomes of the project will include observing the percent of people utilizing the new water system's taps, checking the difference in school attendance before and after the project completion, recording the average study time of children before and after the project completion, and observing the number of meetings help by the water committee.

A group bank account was established to deposit maintenance funds received from the users of the taps. Each compound will require that the women who utilize the taps to pay 10 dalasi (local currency) each per month to help in maintaining the system.

Security against breakage and theft will be ensured with a chain link fence with wire and locks surrounding the solar panels and pumping system. Some of the maintenance fees raised by the community will also be used to maintain the solar structure as well as all parts of the water system.

Let Girls Learn
After many girls complete grade six, they often quit school to help with chores in the family compound. Women also spend a great amount of time fetching water that in turn reduces the time spent in gardens and time that can be used to pursue other interests in business.

This project has a particular benefit in allowing girls to remain in school by reducing the time needed to fetch water for daily use. When this project is completed, the burden of fetching water from only two sources will be reduced through the addition of seven additional sources, freeing up the girls to pursue their schoolwork.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.

Sandu District Water Project - The GambiaSandu District Water Project - The Gambia

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Hermosillo Water Project - Mexico

Hermosillo Water Project - Mexico

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

Location
Hermosillo, Municipio de Siltepec, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
Hermosillo is a community situated on the Northeastern side of a river canyon a couple of kilometers away from both Santa Domingo Cascada and Cipresal Cascada, two communities where we have successfully completed projects to bring potable water into the homes. There are 35 homes with a total of 180 people. Many of the households are younger families so the population is expected to grow in the coming years.

Like so many settlements in the Sierra Madre, Hermosillo lost its water in 2005 when 4 days of extreme flooding caused a landslide that diverted the original water source leaving the people without access to water to the present day. The lack of access to the water families need to maintain their households has greatly exacerbated the challenges the people have to deal with in this impoverished community.

Families in Hermosillo make their living by growing coffee on small plots. Some raise honey bees in their coffee groves to supplement their income from the sale of honey. Both of these products are vulnerable to the impact of climate change which has been serious in Chiapas and nearby Guatemala. As a result, many families have to rely on the funds sent to them by a family member working in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. While the money they provide is essential, immigrating usually means that young children behind to be raised in households headed by women. The tedious task of carrying water from the river falls to these women and their children and leaves less time for other tasks.

There is an elementary school and kinder garden with a total 42 children and 3 teachers who live permanently in Hermosillo. The two schools need water for sanitation for the students and to provide good living conditions for the teachers.

Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoProblem Addressed
The original water tank built many years ago is in good state, requiring only an application of a layer of cement to ensure that it is water tight. The original metal pipe was completely destroyed, so a new water line is required to bring water from a good source 3.5 kilometers away. A distribution tank will be built to allow people to connect their individual lines to bring the water into their homes.

Project Description
This project is to build a water system for the community. A new distribution tank will be built above the community and connected by a new piping system to the existing water tank.

As with all the projects completed to date, it is always a technical challenge to assure that the gravity fed system will successfully deliver water to the farthest homes and those on high ridges since the topography presents challenges. The original system had the capacity to deliver water to all homes, including the 5 households on the slope on the other side of the canyon. So, this system will use the proven distribution, but bring the water into the community via a new line from a better source.

The families are organized into a Comité de Agua, the Water Committee headed by people they elect to direct the work required to maintain their system for the benefit of all. The community members have decided that they will collectively hire a person called the fontanero who will assure the appropriate distribution of the water so that all homes receive water. He will enforce the proper use of the water by reminding people to turn off their faucets when their tanks are full. Part of his responsibilities will also be to perform the maintenance of the system as needed.

The people are committed to doing the manual labor needed to accomplish this project. This will include making the cinder blocks and constructing the distribution tank, resurfacing the old holding tank, and building a small catchment dam at the source. They will work together to lay down the hose across the steep forested patches, burying it to prolong its life. The hose will pass through the coffee plots of members of the community so access rights are assured.

Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoThe community has a committed leader who has been very active in working with the Sexto Sol team to arrive at a technically feasible plan for restoring water to the community.

Project Impact
180 people will benefit from the project.

Project Managers
The project will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D. and Francisco Barrios, of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, an award-winning non-profit that has had a permanent presence in the region since 1997.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The Comité de Agua will monitor the system, maintain it, and repair it when necessary.

Comments
This project is the 12th water system project in the ongoing Sierra Madre Water Program, a comprehensive effort to improve water access in the underserved and impoverished Sierra Madre de Chiapas region of Mexico, spanning the border with Guatemala.

Fundraising Target
$6,700

Donations Collected to Date
$6,7000

Dollar Amount Needed

$0.00 - This project has been fully funded, through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

Any additional donations will be directed toward new projects in Mexico.

Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoHermosillo Water Project - Mexico

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Xxxxx Xxxxxxx Pipeline Expansion Project - Senegal

Xxxxx Xxxxxxx Pipeline Expansion Project - Senegal

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

Xxxxx Xxxxxxx Pipeline Expansion Project - SenegalLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Xxxxx Xxxxxxx, Podor District, St. Louis Region, Senegal

Community Description
Xxxxx Xxxxxxx is a rural farming community located between a tributary to the Senegal River and the N2 highway. The village life is dictated by farming seasons and religious celebrations. The most remarkable characteristic of the community is the genuine kindness and warmth the inhabitants show to one another, and their visitors.

The village consists of approximately 1,000 members, and contains a health structure and various small businesses. Due to access to the newly built highway, the community has seen a tremendous development in population, infrastructure and commerce in the last 5 years.

To date, Water Charity has funded and completed two impactful projects within the village’s limits. The first was a latrine project for the elementary school, whose previous and dilapidated infrastructure could not handle the growth of students in the village.

The second project, completed with the help of the community and the PCV, established a central line of running water, passing through the heart of the village. Due to this collaboration between Water Charity and the community, there are now 3 public faucets, 15 private compounds with faucets, 2 new mosques in construction, and more village gardens established than ever before.

Xxxxx Xxxxxxx Pipeline Expansion Project - SenegalProblem Addressed
The original pipeline project established a baseline for what is possible for many of the families in the village. Unfortunately, there are still a great number of families who lack access to the pipeline and therefore fresh and clean drinking water. This water has also been demonstrated as necessary for the establishment of home and community gardens. The majority of the compounds in the village are eager to build on the success of the original project, and emulate its results by purchasing private faucets and establishing gardens.

Xxxxx Xxxxxxx is very fortunate to have a medium sized women's garden (15,000 m2) in the north eastern quarter of the village, which is protected by a previous Peace Corps fencing project. The garden contains three large concrete basins to hold water. The garden has been plagued in its development by a lack of access to water. The garden contains a relatively deep well that was once serviced by a manual pump. Once the pump fell into disrepair, 3 years prior, garden production sharply declined and has almost come to a standstill today. The women have found the pulling of water to be too laborious and time consuming to make garden production sustainable.

Lack of water access in homes and in community gardens creates barriers to sanitation, access to diverse and nutritious foods, and to income-generating activities (such as vegetable sales and completion of new buildings).

Project Description
This project has two distinct aims: to extend running water to the highest density of homes without current access in the village, and to expand the pipeline to the local women’s garden.

The new pipeline is designed to extend 126 m to the west, extending access to 11 more compound. It will continue eastward 360 m, towards the women’s garden, offering access to 8 more compounds that currently lack access. Finally, the pipeline will expand 150 m to the north, servicing 5 more compounds. In total, the project requires 636 m of pipeline to reach 24 compounds, averaging 8 inhabitants each.

This pipeline will also include three faucets at the terminus in the women’s garden, that will provide more than 100 women with water to garden effectively with.

The plumber and material supplier from the first project will again be used, bringing cost-effectiveness to this project.

The projects start-up costs are relatively low, as the village has its contract established with the water service provider and the majority of necessary infrastructure in place.

Xxxxx Xxxxxxx Pipeline Expansion Project - SenegalProject Impact
1,500 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
C. Byrnes (This PCV previously completed the Agnam Tonguel Water System Project - Senegal,) 

Monitoring and Maintenance
The monitoring and maintenance of this project fundamentally begins with a maintenance of the infrastructure. The water service has been actively monitored thus far and the only stoppage of water has been for one routine cleaning.

The faucets must be maintained by individual families, but as they become habituated to using them, we can expect families to have the intrinsic motivation to maintain their own individual sources.

The public faucets are maintained by the groups who pay their monthly bills (i.e. women's garden faucets maintained by Women's Group).

The monitoring of project results is the responsibility of the PCV. This includes, but is not limited to, keeping records of which families have purchased faucets and where, what home gardens have been started and their status, recording any profits rom new enterprises started.

Let Girls Learn
This project contains apparent and subtle benefit to the women of the village. As in the prior pipeline project, school-aged girls will save time for attending school and studying after class, if they are freed from the routine labor of pulling water for their families to drink, cook, and bathe with.

Women are empowered by the access to their garden space, as all families have at least one female representative from their home who can cultivate a plot of land. The space, once functional and flourishing, can be used for girls’ education days, whether it be about female health or proper nutrition, as it will be regarded as a space of female empowerment throughout the village.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.

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Tram Kak District Water Project - Cambodia

Tram Kak District Water Project - Cambodia

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

Tram Kak District Water Project - CambodiaLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Xxxx Xxxx Commune, Tram Kak District, Takeo Province, Cambodia

Community Description
In the rural community of Xxxx Xxxx Commune, many families are rice farmers. The eighteen villages that Xxxx Xxxx Health Center serves, thrive off the land of lush green rice fields during rainy season and dry, cracked dirt during the dry season.

Although the commune serves over 1,000 people, the families are intertwined as one large family. Like many communities in Cambodia, families in the area are recovering financially, structurally, physically, mentally, and developmentally from their broken past.

Problem Addressed
In 2015, a new maternity ward was built without consideration of distance and accessibility to the health center's current water source. Currently, there is no running water in the delivery room or the bathroom attached to the maternity ward.

During a delivery, the midwives ask the family of the woman in labor to take a bucket to fill it up with water located about 20 meters from the delivery room. With this one bucket of water, the midwives perform their hand washing and washing of medical supplies.

The current water source is a small well that can be unreliable during hot season. Therefore, the staff needs to pull water from the pond, which is not hygienic.

Tram Kak District Water Project - CambodiaIn addition to the lack of running water, the community has not had any formal education on proper hand-washing techniques. Proper hygiene practices go beyond the health center. The community does not know the appropriate elements and techniques needed to wash their hands to prevent illnesses.

Project Description
This project is to build a reliable, running water source at the health center.

Both the delivery room and the bathroom have access points (i.e. sink, toilet, cistern) that were installed during the construction of the building in 2015. A well and tank will be constructed at a location behind the maternity ward near the delivery room and the bathroom.

Water will be pumped from the well up to the tank using an electric motor. The water will be stored in the tank until someone turns on the faucet in the maternity ward. The water will then flow from the tank to the delivery room or bathroom.

The base of the tank will be constructed from concrete and be 2 m x 2 m. The plastic tank will hold 1,500 L of water. The structure of the tank will include a metal roof to protect the tank and water inside from overheating.

The construction of the well, tank, and pipes will be done by local companies specializing in well and tank construction.

The health center staff will undergo a training involving knowledge and skills about why, how, and when to wash their hands

In addition, the midwives will be trained on necessary knowledge to be passed on to new mothers about hygiene related to post-natal care involving breastfeeding, bottle feeding, personal hygiene, and hygiene of their baby.

Tram Kak District Water Project - CambodiaOnce all nine staff members can demonstrate and explain hand washing, they will then use this knowledge to lead trainings. The first training will be with the Village Health Volunteers. They will go through a similar workshop related to critical information about hand-washing and skills on how to train others.

In November, at the start of the new school year, the health center staff will lead a training with class monitors and selected teachers. All the trainings will cover proper hand-washing techniques, critical hand-washing times, and knowledge of hygiene.

The health center staff has accumulated savings over the past few years to help contribute 25% for supplies, materials, and labor of the project. Their contributions will mainly go toward training materials and their contribution of time to train others in the community.

Recently, the health center chief installed wall shelves and soap to accompany the sinks in the old health center as well as the maternity ward.

Project Impact
Over 1,000 people will benefit from this project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Shelby Farmer

Monitoring and Maintenance
The staff maintains the facilities on a daily basis. The health center chief takes responsibility in budgeting and contacting individuals to maintain the running water and in restocking the soap every month through the monthly budget assigned to the health center at the commune level.

In addition, the midwives’ training on hygiene related to maternal health care will be sustained through the constant flow of patients who come in for ANC and PNC check-ups. The sustainability of knowledge will occur during midwives’ interaction with this target audience.

In addition, the staff member responsible for outreach meets with the Village Health Volunteers when going to their village. He will assess retained knowledge of hand-washing during his outreach.

Comments
The new well and tank will provide running water, allowing midwives to perform safer, more hygienic deliveries, and will provide an opportunity to educate the community about basic hygiene.

This project has been paid for through a grant from the International Foundation.

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Kaymore School Bathroom and Water Project - Senegal

Kaymore School Bathroom and Water Project - Senegal

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

Kaymore School Bathroom and Water Project - SenegalLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Commune of Kaymore, Department of Nioro Du Rip, Region of Kaolack

Community Description
The community is a small rural village that gains most of its income from agriculture. The village does not have electricity but does have a water system with a few spigots throughout the village.

The French school is a primary school with two teachers and 88 students.

Problem Addressed
The French school in the community does not have bathrooms or access to water on school grounds. If the students need to use the restroom or get a drink of water, they must go seek out a compound in the village. This takes away time that the students should be spending in the classroom learning.

Project Description
This project is to build two bathrooms, and install a water line on the school grounds.

One bathroom structure will be built, with two separate bathrooms, one for girls and one for boys. A water line will be run from the main village water supply line to the building.

A local mason will be hired to do all of the construction work, and community members will dig the trench for the water line, and the hole for the bathroom.

Water Charity funds will be used for materials and to pay the mason for his work.

Kaymore School Bathroom and Water Project - SenegalThe community will contribute unskilled labor, local resources, and a small amount of money.

The project includes 20 solar lamps, to be distributed to the students as needed. Since the village does not have electricity the lamps will allow the students to study at night.

A training will be held regarding health, hygiene, sanitation, and the upkeep and maintenance of the bathrooms.

Project Impact
88 students and 2 teachers will benefit from the project each year.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
A. Evans, who previously implemented the Padaf Water System Project - Senegal.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The PCV will visit the site frequently to ensure that the facilities are being properly used and maintained.

The community is home to a few masons who can perform repairs as needed. The school teachers have played a large role in the planning of the project and will work hard to maintain what they have gained.

The WASH training will help the students understand the importance of hand washing and proper bathroom sanitation.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.

Kaymore School Bathroom and Water Project - SenegalKaymore School Bathroom and Water Project - Senegal

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CABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

CABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

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

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoLocation
Chiapas, Mexico

Community and Problem Addressed
    The life of a small-scale coffee grower is a life of poverty
On the steep mountain slopes of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas thousands of small-scale farmers produce the exceptional coffees that importers are always looking for. While this valuable commodity may be traded far away on the New York Stock Exchange, the survival of the cafetaleros, peasant coffee farmers, depends on factors beyond their control.

Coffee production can be a heartbreaking enterprise. The plants are vulnerable to bad weather such that a couple of days of strong wind or an unseasonable rainstorm can strip immature beans from the trees in a few hours. The price they receive from year to year depends on geopolitical and economic forces originating far from the where coffee is grown that impact exchange rates and commodity prices. Farmers assume large debt to cover the cost of production and harvest, so in years when prices are depressed or the yield is low, they end up in the red at the end of the harvest.

For the average cafetalero, farming has never afforded them more than an impoverished quality of life but recent years have been especially difficult Rising temperatures have allowed the roya pest to proliferate at elevations where it did not thrive before. Roya has devastated coffee farms throughout Chiapas and neighboring Guatemala, depressing local economies for several years, causing small businesses to close and forcing more people to seek work as undocumented laborers in the United States.

    Joining a cooperative is the best strategy for poor farmers
Moving coffee from the farm through all the steps leading to exportation is complicated. The best way for poor farmers to maximize their chances of obtaining a better price is to participate in a cooperative organization that can negotiate contracts on their behalf. If the cooperative is well organized and forward thinking, it can obtain government grants earmarked for rural development in the coffee sector.

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoFive years ago, CABIOCHI, Cafetaleros de la Biodiversidad de Chiapas S. C., was formed and now includes members from over 16 communities. Many of these communities have benefited from water projects already completed as part of the Sierra Madre Water Program and several are on the waiting list for help to have access to potable water. Among these are the remote communities of Bremen, San Juan Calera, Via Hermosa, Ejido de Ojo de Agua, Victoria, Checute, Berriozabal, Hermocillo, Ejido Bandera Agentina, Ejido Cipresal, Los Lagos, Agua Prieta, Buena Vista, 20 de Abril, and Niquivil.

This year CABIOCHI is working to obtain organic certification which will give them access to the Specialty Coffee Market with buyers who pay premiums for organic gourmet quality. The most important strategy for acquiring and retaining loyal buyers is to maintain vigorous plants on well-managed farms that produce the highest quality beans they are willing to pay well for.

    CABIOCHI's Nursery Project
Under normal conditions, every year farmers replace unproductive coffee plants with new seedlings to keep yields strong. It takes several years for the new plants to mature and start bearing coffee so this work must be done in a timely manner. Now with so much damage to the trees from roya, it is urgent that they replace a larger portion of their plants with resistant varieties if they are to be able to recover from the losses. But the cost of acquiring seedlings is prohibitive, especially now that they have had a several bad years with very little income.

Four years ago, CABIOCHI began producing seedlings for its members on a large lot they rent for their nursery in Barrio Xelaju Chico on the outskirts of Motozintla, the largest city in the region. This year they received major funding to significantly expand the nursery from SAGARPA, Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganadaria, Desarollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentacion, the federal agency of the Mexican government responsible for rural development. While they were awarded funding to produce 100,000 plants, CABIOCI has managed to double the capacity to 200,000 through the wise management of those resources.

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoProject Description
This project is to complete the irrigation system for a nursery that will produce coffee plant seedlings. The plants will be distributed to 398 small scale coffee farming families to empower them to improve their household economies.

To get the nursery going four years ago, they installed 2.5 kilometers of 2" hose to bring water from a perennial stream for irrigation. The hose that was installed was not new, so some sections now need to be replaced. In addition, the line needs to be extended to reach a better point for uptake where they have just acquired the water rights.

A catchment dam at the source will be built and the newly dug holding pond at their facility reinforced. It is expected that this upgrade will create a system that will serve for decades to come.

Project Impact
The organization has 398 members, each representing a multi-generational family of an average of 6 or more members. A conservative estimate is that 2,400 people will benefit. The nursery project employs 40 people who provide the labor on site. Farmers who are members of CABIOCHI will receive the plants free of charge.

As CABIOCHI gains a reputation for providing consistently exceptional quality coffee, the benefits in terms of acquiring more favorable terms for export are significant. The organization continues to grow as they reach out to more farmers in other communities.

Project Managers
The project will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D. and Francisco Barrios, of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, an award-winning non-profit that has had a permanent presence in the region since 1997.

In addition to experience with working with communities to create potable water systems, Sexto Sol has 20 years of experience assisting small-scale coffee farmers seeking to obtain a better price for their coffee.

CABIOCHI was founded by Isac Ventura who has played a significant role in the Sierra Madre Water Program by facilitating partnerships with communities in need of potable water and the Sexto Sol Center.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The managers of CABIOCHI will monitor and maintain the system. Sexto Sol will periodically check to ascertain that the system is functioning properly.

Comments
This project is the 11th water system project in the ongoing Sierra Madre Water Program, a comprehensive effort to improve water access in the underserved and impoverished Sierra Madre de Chiapas region of Mexico, spanning the border with Guatemala.

In addition, Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Sexto Sol’s Executive Director, will provide capacity building to help people better manage their domestic water. This will include preventing waste water from pooling on the ground where animals consume it and become ill. With simple changes, usable gray water can be directed into edible plants. She will also provide a demonstration on how to recycle plastic into useful items as a strategy to keep it out of the watershed and prevent contamination of the environment.

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

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoCABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

 

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoCABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

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