Project Successfully Completed!
ABOUT THE PERU PROJECT
Founded in 2011, the Peru team traditionally focuses on water treatment and distribution systems. We came across rural communities in Peru which relied on deep aquifer wells with lethal concentrations of arsenic for daily water consumption. The odorless, colorless and tasteless quality of arsenic renders it notoriously hard to detect until its adverse health effects take its toll. We resolved to take on the challenge to provide a viable alternative water supply while educating these communities about the presence and dangers of arsenic-laced groundwater. This sparked numerous assessment and community engagement trips and our Peru project was born.
We have carried out 4 different implementations, building rainwater catchment systems in primary schools and kindergartens in Quivicalla, Huanucollo, and Carancas. These systems utilize existing roof gutters to collect rainwater, a first flush system to flush out gutter debris, and plastic tanks to contain collected rainwater. The water is made potable through routine chlorine disinfection and flows in buried supply piping from the
tanks to spigots in convenient locations for use. These systems provide the community with clean water for drinking and cooking that replace the arsenic-laden well water that they have used for many decades.
In addition, we have collaborated with the local health ministry to establish a comprehensive arsenic education program. We worked on suitable educational materials to supplement children and adults’ knowledge of arsenic, ensuring they are aware of the detrimental health effects the local well-water pose.
IMPACT AND FUTURE ENDEAVORS
Our shared effort to meet the challenge of an alternative water source has forged close relations between the communities and the team. Going through the assessment, implementation and education processes together has been a long and fruitful journey. Yet, given the competency of the community in
maintaining existing systems and their acute awareness of the arsenic issue, we are confident in the sustainability of the project and will aim to round it off after a final monitoring & evaluation trip in March 2018.
Meanwhile, we are sourcing for a new project to channel the team’s efforts toward. We hope to find a Latin American community to utilize the team’s Spanish proficiency and familiarity with the Hispanic culture. With the past project in Peru under our belt, we are confident and eager to meet the next challenge.
Design and implement rainwater harvesting systems on key buildings in the community to provide an arsenic-free source of water to school children and faculty during the school year.