Global Brigades made partnerships with Father Ferdinando Castriotti in Fundación Alivio del Sufrimiento and also with the Municipality of El Paraíso to create a water system in the community of Los Terrones. The existing system was built in 2011, and in November of 2016 the pump in this system burnt out because there was not enough water. It only served approximately 20 houses. They used a water source that they found in the mountains, 10 km, from the community. They had a small tank in community which was 5,000 gallons. This was not sufficient and the design of the existing pipelines was poor. The pump of 1 horse power was not enough. They had several wells that had been drilled 3 years prior but all of these had dried out. There were six washing stations in the creek at the entrance of the community. The members also used this to bathe and also it was often that we saw animals such as dogs and cows drinking this water. Another huge concern was that the bridge easily floods, so any vehicles or people entering the community would have to go through the water. The water from the system was not chlorinated, and the water council that they had was very disorganized. It had not been legalized and was encountering many issues.
Water System Solution
When GB entered Los Terrones, they knew it was essential that a new water system would need to be constructed so that members in the community would have sufficient access to water in order to stay healthy. This was all made possible with the partnerships with Fundación Alivio del Sufrimiento and the Municipality of El Paraiso. The water system that was completed in September 2018 was a gravity system. It consisted of a small dam, a sedimentation tank (to ensure that there would not be a problem of sand clogging the pipes), and there was also a brand new tank of 15,000 gallons built in the community. The water source is at an altitude of 100m above community meaning that there is enough gravity to press the pipes. The water source was also 10 km away from the community. Iron pipes were installed at the beginning of the project for the water source to avoid future damage due to over flooding events.
As the community is quite large there are two outlets from the new tank, which ensures that the pressure of the water is correct. The flow rate in the new system is around 60 gallons per minute which is enough for everyone in the community and also leaves room for growth in the future. In the community of Los Terrones, 121 houses have benefited from the new water system.
This water system was also going to be benefiting another community, Colonia San Jose, in which the partnering organization was working. With the help of GB, the community was able to form a very strong water council and have it legalized. They provided great leadership training and training on how to properly maintain the water system so that it will last for many years. The water council will sit down and come up with a logical water fee for each family each month in order to purchase the chlorine, pay the plumber in community and also have a little to save each month in the community bank for the future in case there is a problem in the water system.
Water Project Stages
This project was completed in November 2018.