Although most of homes in the community of Fray Lazaro have access to a centralized water system constructed by the government, those living in the neighborhood of El Cimarro were not connected to the system as they built their homes following its completion. Thus, community members living in 11 houses lacked access to a sufficient supply of potable water. They typically were forced to carry their water from nearby streams and wells to their homes. Given the difficulties inherent to collecting water, community members often lacked a sufficient supply, limiting many basic hygiene and sanitation practices that would otherwise protect their health and well-being.
Further endangering their health, few community members treated their water prior to consuming it. There was no centralized water treatment plan, which increased their risk of contracting water-borne disease. The majority of community members did not treat the water in their homes.
Water System Solution
Water Brigaders from several different universities began working in Fray Lazaro in June 2014. Throughout the next few months, volunteers worked with community members to:
• Construct a 1,500 gallon storage tank with chlorinator
• Dig approximately 660 meters of trench and lay pipeline
• Connect approximately 11 houses to the system
• 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. When Global Brigades first began working in the community of Fray Lazaro, most of the community had access to an adequate supply of potable water. Yet, the neighborhood of El Cimarro lacked access to the system. With the construction of their own small water system, Global Brigades was also able to implement its Public Health program in the homes of El Cimarro.
Water Project Stages
All stages of this water project have been completed.