Purpose: To develop sustainable, community water systems in poor, rural communities with no safe water supply.
Situation: In Ecuador, about 40% of the populations is without ready access to safe water. Most of these people reside in rural areas such as the isolated community of El Tormento located about an hour and half from Bahia de Caraquez in the hilly parroquia of San Isidro in Manabí province, Ecuador. Tormento has approximately 300 inhabitants spread among fifty families. The village exists largely out-of-sight off of paved roadways, and families survive mainly from working small, rudimentary, family farms that hand-cultivate small quantities of cacao, coffee, corn, plantain and fruits with a few chickens, pigs or a cow. Dwellings of less than 600 square feet composed primarily of bamboo or wood barely shelter tri-generational families and neglected primary schools lack minimal instructional materials, equipment and professional staff. There is no public transportation, and older students must travel to high school in San Isidro. These villages are off-the-map economically and there are no local health services or police presence. The inhabitants´ predicament became even more desperate when the 7.8 earthquake of April 16, 2016, devastated the economic structure of the entire province and destroyed local, hand-dug, community water wells. Consequently, more communities have no reliable, continuous water source and residents must seek water from infrequent, dirty, tank trucks and the occasional purchase of treated water in refillable jugs hauled from San Isidro.
Proposal: Because the regular consumption and use of safe water is essential for rising out of poverty, these water projects will implement a successful strategic model developed and replicated by the Bahia de Caraquez Rotary Club in six previous Rotary Foundation Global Grant community water projects. The projects will construct communitywide water systems that include well development, pumping and pressure system, water treatment and storage, distribution pipelines reaching each dwelling and school, and water meters placed for each consumer. Necessary components to ensure system sustainability include the legal formation of a community-elected, governing water board in each community which will receive comprehensive training from representatives and consultants sponsored by the national ministry of water SENAGUA about necessary topics including system management, operation and maintenance, water chemistry and chlorination, financial and personnel administration, system security, community relations, and water consumption fee collection. Technical training about the operation and maintenance of the community water system and basic tools will be provided by the construction contractor to individuals selected by the water board. Hygiene training and curriculum will be provided by Host Club Rotarians to school teachers who will instruct students and present at community forums about best practices to maintain proper hygiene and protect water quality using in part a curriculum developed by a previous Rotary Foundation project of the Rotary Club of Quito which the Rotary Club of Bahia de Caraquez has successfully implemented with each previous community water project. All equipment and materials for these projects are readily available in Ecuador.
The Rotary Club of Bahia de Caraquez will solicit, sponsor, host and coordinate two Rotary Foundation Global Grant projects, one in Tormento and the other in San Jacinto. Rotarians of "Bahia" will coordinate and monitor water system construction, including contracting with a proven hydrological engineering contractor whose company is certified by SENAGUA, as well as manage and supervise the training programs for the water board, water system technical operation and maintenance, and water protection and hygiene. These trainings will be provided by Rotarians through established collaborations with the construction contractor, the local Canton Sucre government, and the national ministry of water (SENAGUA). The Project Committees for these projects include past club presidents who have successfully coordinated previous Rotary funded community water projects following the model described above, and include a civil engineer, an educator and financial administrator, each with years of practical experience and professional training in their area. Two committee members are Technical Cadres for The Rotary Foundation in the areas of Water and Sanitation and Basic Education and Literacy.
Sustainability: Project outcomes will be sustained by the:
1. Democratically elected community water board who will be invested with legal authority and obligation to supervise all system operations and financial administration, promote positive community relations and set water consumption charge rates and collect payments based on metered water usage.
2. The local government of Cantón Sucre and the national water and health ministries will collaborate to support the legal formation of the water board, provide multi session trainings for water board members, monitor project activities, and assure legal compliance with water and health requirements.
3. Hygiene training will be provided by the Host Rotarians to local school teachers using a proven curriculum developed by a previous Rotary Global Grant project to raise community awareness and increase knowledge about how water becomes contaminated, its safe use and maintenance and the consequent protection of individual health. The teachers will teach the curriculum to all students as well as to adults at community forums. This information will motivate parents and other community members to monitor the system´s operation and participate in water board community meetings.
4. Water system technical training will be provided to individuals designated by the water board to operate, maintain, repair and protect the water system for the long term.
5. The Host Rotary Club will inform news and media sources about the project and its community ownership model to generate greater system transparency and oversight.
Beneficiaries: The projects' beneficiaries will be the approximately 300 residents in Tormento. Beneficiaries will also include the teachers working in the schools and future residents who will likely migrate to the community when they learn that the safe water system is functioning. In particular, children should directly benefit from reduced water borne illnesses which should contribute to better school attendance and greater achievement.
Measurement of Results:
• The completed construction of the community water systems.
• The number of dwellings and schools regularly receiving safe water.
• The improved attendance of children at school.
• Completion of the full battery of training designed for the community water boards
• Completion of the technical training for water system operation, maintenance and repair.
• Completion of hygiene training for teachers, its instruction to students and at community meetings.
Water well development and testing $6,284
Distribution pipeline and connectors 21,728
Storage tanks, placement and accessories 1,568
Electrical energy supply 1,064
Pumping system equipment and accessories 1,512
Chlorine treatment system and accessories 5,425
Pressure reduction chamber 1,052
Connections to dwellings and water meters 5,443
Subtotal: Construction and Equipment 44,076
Project management 1,000 1,000
Project monitoring and evaluation 1,000
Project time frame: April, 2019—June, 2021