Water Brigades Report: MAY – SEPTEMBER, 2011
Water Brigades saw groups from Boston University, San Diego State University, Johns Hopkins University, Chapman University, Seattle University, and DePaul University from the United States send 52 volunteers to work in the community of El Canton, Honduras.
May and June
In May and June of 2011, these six groups worked on the gravity water system in El Canton. Over a six week period, Water Brigades staff, volunteers, and community members:
- Dug approximately 2300 meters of trench and installed 2300 meters of pipe in the conduction line
- Installed various air valves and cleaning valves along the conduction line
- Repaired and connected the central 11,000-gallon storage tank
- Tested the central storage tank by filling it
- Dug approximately 500 meters of trench and installed 500 meters of pipe in the first line of the distribution network
- Planned and presented six educational charlas to the schools of La Ceibita (3 charlas) and El Cantón (3 charlas) on the topics of Hygiene and Sanitation in conjunction with the Basic Sanitation Committee. Approximately 65 school children were impacted by these charlas
- These charlas were done in collaboration with the Basic Sanitation Committee of El Canton. This collaboration was a pilot initiative which was very successful.
- Delivered drinking water storage containers and presented brief charlas on the topic of household water storage to 90 homes and 2 schools in El Cantón and La Ceibita in conjunction with the Basic Sanitation Committee
To complete the infrastructural work done in May and June, $5,200 of CIF money was invested in the community. No homes were physically connected to the system during this brigades season due to the stage of project that was worked on. However, Water Brigades estimates that 89 community members will receive access to sufficient clean water from the work completed (based on a population of 580 people and a projected project cost of $34,000).
July & August
During the months of July and August, 2011, the Water Brigades team maintained a consistent presence in the community doing system follow up, holding community meetings, and continuing educational programs. During this time the following was accomplished:
- The 21 total members of the Water Councils of El Canton, El Jute, and Veracruz Matasanos were fully trained.
- The 12 members of the Basic Sanitation Committee of El Canton were fully trained.
- The Water Brigades team executed visits to all 90 homes in El Canton with the Basic Sanitation Committee to assess home sanitation and hygiene practices. By doing this, the committee is now trained to do these visits on their own in the future.
In September, two one-day pilot brigades were conducted with Medical Brigades groups in El Canton. A total of 55 Medical Brigaders participated and $1,375 of CIF was invested in the community. Between the two days of pilot brigades the following was accomplished:
- Over 600 meters of trench were dug
- 900 meters of piping was installed in the distribution network
In the last week of September the Water Council of El Canton is going to purchase $280 of PVC piping to install in the distribution network. This decision was made by the community members in an Assembly Meeting. Once the piping is installed the status of the project/community will be:
- Entire 7 kilometers of conduction line complete
- 11,000 gallon storage tank repaired, connected, and tested
- 1.6 kilometers of the distribution network complete
- The new tank will be hydraulically connected to the piping of the old distribution network allowing the Water Brigades team to:
- Test the recently installed portion of distribution network
- Test the entire existing distribution system to determine which parts can be used in the future and what needs replacement/improvement
- The Water Council and Basic Sanitation Committee are trained and fully operational
Program Goals & Objectives
Water Brigades is currently in line with its goal of finishing the El Canton project in early 2012. In fact, the project is actually ahead of schedule. Water Brigades expects to finish the El Canton project by the end of February 2012 as opposed to earlier projections of March or May 2012. This will allow Water Brigades to begin a new project in March 2012 and depending on the size of the project, finish it and start another project in late 2012.