In May 2019, one of our teams launched a pilot project alongside Moviendo Esperanzas. In the region of Barra del Colorado, an isolated island was identified with a community where some basic necessities were unavailable. Because of its location and natural obstacles, government resources were not made available. As a result, the community had to find other means for survival.
Clean water access has been very limited to this community. The only way to access clean water is to travel by boat to a nearby community with a water well. Unfortunately, not all families have access to boats or money to hire one. Instead, they collect rainwater and draw water from the river, both with adverse effects. Rainwater requires collection via their tin roofs, making contact with rust and animal droppings. Water is then collected and stored in large barrels where bacteria grow and thrive in the stagnant water. River water is typically brown and dirty.
1. Partner with a local church
We work with a local church to identify households in need of clean water. They will be our primary on-site contact to receive updates and feedback from the families and distribute new information on behalf of our organization.
3. Installation of water filters
A team will travel and install a clean water filter system in each household. For homes that cannot be reached, family members will assemble a clean water filter system at the gathering to bring home.
2. Organize a gathering
The church will organize a gathering where family members will attend and receive training on using and maintaining the water filters. When properly maintained, the filters can last a lifetime.
4. Collect feedback
Through our church partners, we will receive updates and feedback from our households. Available teams will make an in-person visit to ensure the clean water filter systems are operating efficiently.
In our pilot project, we provided ten families on Isla Brava with water filters and buckets. Due to the distance between homes, community water wells were not ideal for this island. We educated the families on the importance of clean water and provided training for installation and maintenance. With proper care, these filters will theoretically last a lifetime. In January 2020, we made a follow-up visit to see what impact this has made thus far. We are pleased to share that families are still using these filters, primarily for drinking water.
Highlights of a clean water filter community gathering
With the success of our initial pilot project, our next steps are the following, in no particular order of priority or preference:
Launch pilot projects in a few more communities before a full roll-out
Research more cost-effective solutions or solutions that will also support the local economy
Research new solutions for uses outside of a home (i.e. community water filter systems)
Create new comprehensive training and educational material for proper hygiene
INTERACTIVE PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS
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