The mission of Water Charity is to implement immediate, efficient, and practical projects around the world to provide safe water and effective sanitation to those in need.
The project was to build a rainwater catchment system and ferro-cement tank in the village of Gregório.
It took 5 months to complete the project, under the direct supervision of Professor Manuela, now elected head of the Association and representative of the Instituto Diamante Verde in Gregório.
This year something really amazing happened in Queimadas/Gregório village. During the summer season 2010/2011, the news showed the tragic scene of 22 villages facing water shortages due to a lack of rain. However, due to the adoption of a program to build ferro-cement tanks, Queimadas had the capacity to capture sufficient rainwater to fulfill the basic consumption needs of the communities that make up the municipality.
The completion of this project makes possible additional development efforts, under the direction of IDV, for the benefit of the community. These include a tree nursery and erosion control program as well as a gardening program to grow organic vegetables, legumes and fruits for the consumption of the students. Finally, moringa trees are being planted around the natural water source. This not only prevents evaporation but also produces leaves and other components with significant nutritional benefit.
We wish to extend our thanks to Rosângela for carrying out this great project, and creating a model to follow for similar projects in the municipality.
We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for the project.
To read an update onthe project, CLICK HERE.
This project was to participate in the construction of a women’s center by providing for the water and sanitation portions of the construction.
Of the four objectives identified for the Talbrjte Community Center, three have been reached. First, the center was constructed. Construction took place between December 2009 and April 2010. While rain and other undesirable weather slowed the pace of construction, the work was still completed in April.
Construction included the completion of the kitchen sink and bathrooms, funded by Water Charity. The local association decided to add some elements to the center, including tile floors and extra access to water, which is currently taking place.
The second objective of the center, obtaining equipment and supplies, has only been partially completed. The health room is fully equipped and functioning in a sustainable way. Supplies from the Ministry of Health were delivered to the center in order to prepare for the nurse and midwife’s visits. Unfortunately, due to bureaucratic red tape, the machines and supplies for the literacy and handicraft rooms have not been delivered. These supplies will come from the Ministry of Social Development as soon as they are sent from Rabat.
The third objective, to staff the center, is also complete. A local trained girl is ready to begin handicraft lessons upon the delivery of the equipment. A local educated girl is ready to begin literacy lessons upon the delivery of the literacy room equipment. The nurse and midwife have begun their bi-weekly visits to the health room of the women’s center.
The final objective of the center was completed on April 22, 2010. The Talbrjte Women’s Center had its inauguration in the presence of the women and girls of the community as well as men, local government officials, and Peace Corps staff.
While the community is both satisfied and feels that the goals have been reached, they will be even more satisfied once all of the equipment has been delivered.
Erin reports on the impact of the project on the community, based on discussions with va
(1) Write or email your representatives and let them know that you support the Universal Human Right to Water.
This is an important issue, and Water Charity is proud to be at the forefront of the water movement. Any awareness you can bring to your local community on this issue is valuable beyond measure. Let your friends and family know that:
• 80% of all diseases are waterborne
• 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water
• Fully half of all the worlds hospital beds are filled by someone suffering from a water-related illness
• Lack of clean drinking water kills more people per year than all forms of violence put together... including war.
Together we can put an end to this tragedy and stop all this needless human suffering. Remember that the human body is about 2/3rds water. We ARE water.
The project is being implemented under the direction of Kristen Gunther, graduate student at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health and Suma Marka, a Peruvian NGO operating out of Puno. To read the full details about the project, CLICK HERE.
The community of Parina, located in the rural southeast region of the Andes Mountains, adjacent to Lake Titicaca, currently struggles to access clean water sources. Parina is a small rural community situated approximately 12,500 feet above sea level and located outside the regional capital of Puno. Due to the rural location of Parina, community members lack access to clean water sources and struggle to obtain health-related services.
Parina primarily obtains its drinking water from unprotected springs contaminated by human and animal waste, and unmaintained wells built by the government. The primary spring is a location in which the community obtains drinking and cooking water and takes their animals to drink. While water from this spring is initially pure and potable, environmental contamination and lack of maintenance leads to unclean drinking water in the spring.
The structure of this spring is not ideal for preventing contamination of ground water and perpetuates water-related diseases. Elevated levels of E. coli and fecal coliforms have been consistently found in water from the spring. These indicator microbes show bacterial contamination likely to lead to gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea in Parina, especially among vulnerable children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
The project will start with the purchase of construction materials and equipment in the nearby city of Puno, and their transport by truck to Parina. Community members will provide certain materials that they currently have within the community, such as wood for the spring box frame and construction tools.
A local professional who has experience in constructing improved springs and wells will be hired to oversee the construction process of the catchment box. Community members in Parina will provide the labor.
To initiate construction the current spring will be excavated until an impermeable soil layer is reached. Gravel and stones will be placed above the soil layer to prevent erosion and further ensure a clean water source. A cement wall with an overflow tube at the top will be placed on the open wall of the spring to close the spring off. A second tube will be placed towards the bottom of the wall, approximately 50 centimeters from the ground, providing a connection to the catchment box. The water will flow from the protected spring into the catchment box where it will then be accessible to the community through a tap.
In addition, a cover will be constructed from local materials to ensure no contamination enters the spring from above, and to allow entry into the spring for cleaning and maintenance.
After the initial protection of the spring is completed, the catchment box will be constructed. It will contain an outlet tube approximately 50 centimeters from the ground with a tap to allow for water collection. An overflow tube will be placed 50 centimeters from the top of the catchment box to ensure that the catchment box does not overflow.
All tubes will have a screen on the end to ensure no debris will enter the spring or catchment box and all water leaving the catchment box will be free of particles.
A cover for the catchment box will also be constructed with a top allowing for easy access to clean and maintain it.
Finally, the spring and catchment box will be disinfected with a chlorine solution before use. Community members will be trained on maintenance to ensure a clean water source in the future and sustainability of all structures. Monthly water quality monitoring will continue in order to maintain water quality.
During the wet season, this project will benefit 49 people in 7 households, plus students at a small elementary school with 30 students. In the dry season, other water sources dry up and an additional 35 people in 7 households will use spring.
This project uses simple proven methods that can be replicated using locally available materials. Residents will be trained in construction and maintenance, thus ensuring sustainability.
In summary, this is a necessary project to prevent further contamination of the spring and provide clean drinking water to the Parina community. Its benefits will be seen in the measurable reduction of illness.
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 Kristen of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund other projects in Peru.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was to rebuild the broken solar pump-to-tap system by replacing the damaged broken pipes and repairing the livestock-watering trough.
I, along with the Diaramana Water Committee, have left the solar pump system in a functioning and more sustainable state. Now the broken parts on the livestock-watering trough and the broken transmission pipe have been replaced so that less water is being wasted through leakage.
All of the broken tap heads have been replaced with new tap heads with keys, and each key has been assigned to a certain respected member of the community within the vicinity of that tap head.
The Diaramana Water Committee and the traditional gerontocracy have agreed upon a new system for cost recovery and user payments, and according to my knowledge that new system will be implemented with the next year's taxes.
The Diaramana Water Committee has now developed the capacity for conducting repairs and maintenance of the solar pump system. This might seem too obvious a thing to bother writing about, but never before has the Water Committee been involved in any such repair project before - they have only sat back and watched as an NGO came in and built this water system with minimal involvement.
The community paid for all of the new tap heads, and for all of the welding, plumbing and transportation costs.
We wish to thank Zac for carrying out this great project, and again thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.
This project, as part of a larger Healthy Homes and Dry Bathrooms project, was to construct 60 “dry bathrooms”, one for each family in the community.
The project's goals were to teach new skills (family hygiene, household water treatment, and illness prevention; vegetable gardening and general nutrition; waste management, composting, and recycling; and dry bathroom construction, use, and maintenance), develop management skills within the community, and reduce the village's rate of intestinal infections over time through the construction and correct use of sixty dry bathrooms.
The first goal was met; there was high community participation in meetings and trainings from start to finish, and the population showed significant knowledge retention through group "quizzes" given at each meeting.
The second goal also was met, in that the community (and particularly the five members of the Project Committee) demonstrated substantial organizational and project-planning skills, soliciting the local municipality's support when needed and resolving disputes between families, workers, and institutions at different stages throughout the project.
By the end of the project, they showed increased confidence and management capability both in working with the local municipality and with outside institutions like Peace Corps.
In regards to the final goal, the rate of reported intestinal infections must be monitored over several months (and ideally, several years) in order to make any conclusions. This will be carried out by both the Volunteer responsible for the project as well as his two replacement Volunteers in the district capital which the village belongs to.
In the end, fifty-two of the proposed sixty dry bathrooms were built, in addition to two "ventilated improved pit" latrines. Six families dropped out of the project along the way, for lack of interest or inability to provide the required materials and active participation.
The community as a whole, however, was extremely pleased with the results and many had begun using their units with 100% satisfaction. The remaining families were only missing final touches, such as the door, and planned to begin using their bathrooms as soon as possible.
Matt is continuing on as a 3rd-year volunteer at a new site in Pisco, about 4 hours south of Lima. We thank him for completing this great project, and wish him the best.
We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for our participation in this project.
Baan Nong Hai Village is a small, agricultural community located in Maha Sarakham Province in the Northeastern region of Thailand.
Wat Potaram Pre-School is one of two pre-school centers in the local district. Located on the grounds of a temple, the school serves 75 students, ages 3-5, with 5 teachers and one cook. Since Buddhist traditions play a very important role in the lives of the villagers, the temple and pre-school area are frequently used for community events as well.
Currently, there are no appropriate facilities in the school for the students to use at meal times. Instead, the students eat on the classroom floor, which is very crowded, not conducive to food distribution, and, most importantly, unsanitary.
The cafeteria will be attached to the pre-school, and will contain a food preparation and serving area, as well as tables and chairs. The Water Charity participation in the project will pay for the water-related aspects of the project. These include the fixtures as well as piping for supply, distribution, and wastewater removal in the new cafeteria.
The project is structured so that community families and workers will provide the labor. The many community stakeholders active in this project include local government staff, teachers, parents and students.
This project will directly benefit 81 people, and indirectly benefit several hundred more community members who use the facility for various community events.
This is a high-impact, immediately-effective project that will serve large numbers of villagers and students. It will reduce disease by creating hygienic conditions for years to come.
To indicate your desire for your contribution to be allocated toward this project, please click the Donate button below.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
Both communities are highly impoverished and lack basic resources, such as electrical connections, a secure source of water, and adequate sanitation facilities. While extremely poor, the families in the community are humble and warm, often inviting the health post staff and Matthew to whatever food is available.
Water Charity is participating in a larger project to construct dry ecological bathrooms at households in the villages. This technology does not contaminate ground water as no pit is dug. Instead, solid waste (feces) falls into one of two sealed chambers, and liquid waste (urine) is separated through the specially- designed toilet and is transferred outside the unit.
The urine can then be stored and diluted for use as fertilizer, or can pass through a basic gravel filter. The feces is stored in a sealed chamber with a cement floor and a sealed brick wall, and is mixed with ash or organic material.
After six months, the chamber is sealed and the user uses the other chamber for the next six months. During this time, the organic matter decomposes, while bad bacteria and virus die. After six month, the material is ready to be safely removed from the chamber to be used as organic fertilizer and the process repeats again.
These bathrooms have an estimated useful life of 20 years, largely depending on the building materials.
The construction follows a program of education and training which commenced in October, 2010. 15 families in each community were invited to participate in a Healthy Homes program, based on family demographics and advice from local health promoters. The program involved a series of health and hygiene related talks, with topics chosen by Matthew and local health promoters.
Twice a month families were required to attend these health talks on themes such as hand washing, water treatment, family violence, and trash management. In addition, families were responsible to install Tippy Taps (simple and economical hand-washing stations), initiate water treatment practices, and dig a mini-landfill. After each session, follow-up visits were paid to families to check for learning and practices in home and to resolve any questions or clarify information from the session.
By the end of the program, 25 families (including 6 volunteer community health promoters) completed the educational session of the program, with the vast majority showing improved hand washing and health practices in the house (according to the baseline analysis at the beginning of the program).
The community will contribute labor and local resources, including adobe blocks.
The local government will provide a large portion of the project cost, with other funding to provide the remainder.
After construction, bi-monthly visits will be paid to families by health promoters to ensure the continuation of healthy practices and habits, as well as use and maintenance of the dry bathrooms.
In total, 134 people in two rural Peruvian farming communities (43 male, 48 female, 17 boys and 26 girls) will benefit from the project.
This type of bathroom is important in these communities for a variety of reasons. First, it provides sorely needed sanitation services in the community. The incidence of diarrheal diseases and typhoid can be expected to be reduced 50%.
Secondly, the construction of the chambers eliminates the need to dig a pit and risk contaminated groundwater. Especially in the community of Huabalito, the ground water is too high in many parts to safely construct pit latrines.
Thirdly, the matter is converted from a contaminant to an asset in the community. Organic material is transformed into fertilizer, which will benefit the agrarian families.
The Water Charity participation in 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 Peace Corps Volunteer Matthew Fuller of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Matthew 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.
The project was to provide 35 additional Ecofiltro ceramic water filters to serve 280 persons, comprised of families enrolled in the Adult Literacy Program.
The background of the project is as follows:
In May 2009, 42 filters were provided by Water Charity and given out to women who attended Adult Literacy classes as well as 4 placed in Safe Passage public areas.
In June 2010, 32 of these women requested and bought a clay basin replacement with a 50% discount of Q100.00 provided by the company Ecofiltro.
This project resulted in an additional 35 new filters provided to women and men in 2010, all of whom participated in training regarding use and maintenance of the filters as well as general public health education.
The success of this effort can be seen from a PowerPoint presentation prepared by a Safe Passage Volunteer, entitled Ecofiltros for Safe Passage Families.
There are a number of factors to be noted in this project. The selected technology is easy to install, use, and maintain. It is in great demand by the participants in the Safe Passage Program.
The large majority of those who received the filters in the first project liked them so well that they proceeded to buy clay filter replacements for the units and continue to use them.
Most importantly Safe Passage has continued to work with the beneficiaries and to document the health benefits that have accrued from the consistent use of the filters.
The PowerPoint shows universal compliance with proper water filtration practices among those receiving the filters. It also shows a dramatic reduction of diarrheal disease reported by users.
We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for this project.
The project was to implement a rainwater collection project to serve about 150 people who lacked an effective way to obtain water for their needs.
The partnership was successful in designing and implementing a rainwater collection project, which resulted in service to 23 homeowners and their families in the district.
The families are involved in a microfinance project and had the option either to build large, concrete rainwater catchment containers or to buy large rainwater jars, depending on the location of each household.
Habitat’s Dana McNairn reports on the project by presenting two typical case studies from among those who have been served by this project:
For the last five years living in Rach Bun hamlet in Go Cong Dong district, Nguyen Thi Thanh Chuyen and her two children suffered from a severe lack of water, as did the majority of their neighborhood. Due to the low elevation of the area, the soil is becoming saltier every year. Chuyen’s family collected water from a river nearby and stored it in three jars, containing about 100 liters in total. However, as the season changes, ocean water surges into the river, the resulting water is undrinkable. Throughout this season, the price of fresh water shoots up to around VND 100,000 (US $5) per liter, a price few can afford.
Within three days of implementing the project, Chuyen hired a team to complete the construction of a concrete rainwater container, measuring approximately 2m X 3m. She can store about 25 times more water than before and ensure that her family’s basic needs for safe water are met. “We used to drink from the river,” she said, “but now, we’ve got a more healthy drinking water supply. Our lives are much more improved.”
On average, each person needs at least 2.5-3 liters of water a day for basic survival needs. This means the four large water jars that Phan Ngoc Linh’s family were using would only provide enough drinking water for two months, leaving her family with a dramatic shortage of water during the annual dry season.
Living in a coastal area of Tien Giang province, the family has limited access to safe clean water. Due to the area’s low elevation, the rise and fall of the tides infiltrate the soil, making it too salty for ground water wells. On the other hand, it is far too expensive to drill deep wells. Piped water is also not an option due to the remoteness of the area.
While the five members of Linh’s family used to rely on four jars of river water, they knew drinking river water was not healthy and the jars not sufficient. When the project was begun, Linh signed up immediately and waited for her turn to build a concrete rainwater catchment container.
Habitat provided technical expertise on construction, as well as safe water and sanitation practice. Households like Linh’s also received assistance for locating sources of affordable materials, as well as supports on simple methods of water purification. Financially, each family also received a microfinance loan with very low interest to be paid in three years into a revolving fund so that other households can access money in the future.
Unsafe water causes approximately 1.8 million diarrheal deaths every year. The project has delivered to homeowners like Chuyen and Linh a way to avoid serious diarrheal diseases while making everyday life easier and less costly.
The project is important in two aspects. First, it was designed to assist the families with whatever services and materials they needed for their individual needs. Second, the impact of the funds spent on the project was multiplied by an innovative microfinance program, which will result in more families receiving benefits far into the future.