When Global Brigades arrived to the community of Ermita de Saraguasca they had a public, hand-pumped well, which was located approximately 5 kilometers from most homes in the community. The water was typically pumped into jugs or buckets and carried back to the community member’s homes for cooking, cleaning, and hygiene. Unfortunately, the well did not have sufficient amounts of water for the entire community. Additionally, the well was completely dry certain months of the year. When the well was dry, community members walked approximately 3 kilometers to a neighboring community to use their well. The walk required community members to hike down a mountain, across a valley and up the adjacent mountain to arrive at the well, only to carry the water 3 kilometers back to their homes.
Water System Solution
From January to April 2016, 1,541 volunteers partnered with community members from La Ermita de Saraguasca to complete 85% of the water project. Additionally, a 23-cubic meter concrete water storage tank was constructed. Once trench digging was complete, what was left was installing one submersible electric pump as well as water meters in each of the receiving homes. An electric pump was needed to carry water against gravity to homes at a higher elevation. The problem, however, was that at the time, La Ermita de Saraguasca did not have electricity. Global Brigades and local NGO partner, AVODEC, submitted requests to the national electricity company to install electricity within the community.
Due to the national electricity company’s many requests and limited budget, it took approximately one year to complete the request in La Ermita de Saraguasca. Once installed, it was not only a success in the community to have electricity, but it also meant that the water system could begin being pumped out to households. The inauguration of the system was hosted on July 7th, 2017. Prior to the celebration, system tests were conducted to guarantee that the water was potable and had sufficient flow rate. Water quality results indicated the water was safe for drinking. The capacity test demonstrated 22 gallons per minute, with the 7.5 hp electric submersible pump. This test showed that the system was ready to supply it’s projected 31 households, a total of 170 individuals, with water. In addition to construction, a water and sanitation council was trained to empower the community to manage the maintenance, repairs, and treatment of their own water system. The water system was funded in part by Global Brigades and a local NGO partner, AVODEC. The community also helped raise some of the funding themselves for the water system.
Water Project Stages
All stages of this water project have been completed.