Prior to Global Brigades’ arrival in the community, El Ocote had a water system, but it was not large enough to meet the community’s needs. The system utilized a well situated 800 meters from the community. but that source only provided 2.6 gallons of water per minute in the summer taking more than 20 hours to fill the 3,000 gallon storage tank serving the community. Thus, community members only had access to water for roughly twenty minutes each day. Without an adequate supply of water, community members had to forgo many basic hygiene and sanitation practices that would have helped protect their health. Yet, people were still paying a water fee of 15 Lempiras or US $0.75 each month despite the subpar service. Further endangering their health, few community members consumed treated water. There was no centralized treatment system and the existing storage tank was not equipped with a chlorinator to treat the water prior to consuming it.
Water System Solution
Water Brigaders from several different universities worked in El Ocote from August 2014 to November 2014. Throughout this time, volunteers will work with community members to:
• Build 2 dams at 2 different water sources
• Construct a 10,000 gallon storage tank with chlorinator
• Dig approximately 10,000 meters of trench and lay pipeline
• Connect approximately 62 houses, 2 churches, and 1 school
• Provide educational seminars to children in the community on water and health related topics
To ensure the sustainability of the project, a new seven member Water Council was established and trained by Water Brigades in addition to a Basic Sanitation Committee also trained by Water Brigades. When Water Brigades first approached the community of El Ocote a dire water need was observed. The existing system was not meeting community needs and community members recognized the need to construct a new system. They immediately demonstrated their desire for water through their collaboration and dedication to the project.
Water Project Stages
All stages of this water project have been completed.