The Guatemala program works within the municipalities of Joyabaj and San Martin, which are located in a mountainous region in western Guatemala, approximately 55 miles northwest of Guatemala City. The original water distribution project of the EWB-Guatemala program, the Pajuya Water project, was in large part implemented in January of this past year, and was completed by the community this spring. Currently over 400 community members in Pajuya are enjoying clean, potable water from a reliable source.
The project we are doing is in Tabuga, Ecuador, which is a community of about 400 people on the northern coast. As of now, the community does not have access to clean drinking water, and obtain their water from streams that feed two open cisterns, which are highly contaminated with e-coli and dead animals. Over the next few years, we will be implementing a spring box system to bring their community potable water.
Five years ago, Rotary club came in and built a pump house to eventually give Camarones, a neighboring community, potable water; however, the government of Camarones never followed through on funding the installment of pipes to connect the pump house and the community, so neither the people of Tabuga nor those of Camarones ever reaped the benefits of the Rotary Club's work.
The Uganda project is working in the community of Lweza, a village that is just south of the capital city of Kampala. We are working with the organization Village Health Project to provide the citizens of Lweza with clean water. Currently, the two main water sources in the community are contaminated with E. Coli and other harmful pathogens. Our goal is to install a water purification system at these sites and educate the community to improve their public health. We plan on traveling in January of 2015 to conduct our first assessment trip and create a foundation for a long term commitment to the community.
The EWB-UW Domestics group has been working on projects with the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior in Chippewa and our local community in Madison. In Fall 2009 we successful implemented a tile drainage system to provide groundwater drainage and stormwater management infrastructure in Red Cliff, Wisconsin. We are currently working with local law enforcement, health care workers, and UW School of Pharmacy students on a “med-drop” program that will enable locals to dispose of their prescription and non-prescription drugs in an environmentally friendly manner. In addition, in Spring 2010 we began a project to develop a sustainable solution to clean Vilas Beach, Lake Wingra. We recently partnered with several local community organizations including Friends of Lake Wingra, Yahara Lakes Legacy Partnership, Yahara CLEAN, Madison Area Permaculture Guild, and Town and Country Water Issues Team RC&D to develop a sustainable and educational solution to clean the beach using biofiltration and mycofiltration methods. It is our hope to engage the local community in this project, so come and work with us!
Our group is teaming with Rotary International to construct a wastewater collection system in two communities in El Salvador. Along with construction, two very important aspects of the project are educational workshops that teach local children and community members basic sanitation and health practices, as well as water testing to assess the pathogens that threaten the health of community members. There are many ways to get involved in our group and lots of work to be done, so come join us!
The Rwanda project is currently working to bring water to the community of Gashonyi which includes the site of a clinic to soon be constructed there. During phase one, we will be working on finishing repairs on a pipeline that will bring water to the new health center site as well as the town center. Phase two will be developing two other spring sources in the area and running a pipeline from them to the clinic site and town center as well to provide the people with the much needed water source. We will also be looking into the possibility of building rain water catchment tanks which will also serve as a water source to this community. We are excited to be working on this project because providing clean water to the clinic and the people is an important part in improving health care in the area.
Over the summer our professional chapter partners in San Francisco completed construction of a brand new clinic. Seen in the picture is EWB-UW alum Kyle Akenbauer along with the clinic staff just after the completion of the foundation. The clinic symbolizes hope as an organized source of medical care.