Education begins with a glass of clean water.
Why Clean Water?
After years of medical missions treating parasitic diseases, it became apparent that the health of the communities we serve starts with access to clean water. If children were to grow and thrive at school, their parents needed clean water for drinking and cooking. Thus the decision was made to extend our focus to include providing clean water and education to the communities that we serve.
“Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.” – Pope Francis, Laudato Si 8
Since 2014, through the generosity of donors and volunteers, OAF installed 16 purification systems that provide clean water to more than 2,700 families in 9 communities. One system provides purified water for all of Olancho Aid’s schools, offices, employees, and volunteers.
We recently completed our first solar-driven water project in a village that does not have electricity. Instead of charging a fee for water, the village collects a small fee to charge a cell phone at the station. Enough people use this service to cover all the maintenance costs of the system. As a result, purified water is free to families in this village.
Community Selection & Installation
From start to finish, the process from selecting a community to installation system takes 3-6 months. The team studies the physical and social environment that will impact the success of the project. A crucial step is building a trusting relationship with residents, as they will be asked to sustaining the water purification system. Once a community has been selected and has received preliminary training, construction on the building that houses the water system can begin and takes about a month to complete. Installation of the system itself can be completed in less than 2 weeks.
Members of the community are required to invest what they can to initiate the project, ranging from contributing labor and materials to teaching classes to the children about the importance of clean water.
Three to four community leaders are trained in running the purification system, monitoring functionality, and basic troubleshooting. Our staff travels to each community weekly to confirm each part of the system is functioning properly. OAF is also “on-call” for any problems or emergencies that arise. The community staffs the facility and dispenses water to citizens.
- Families are able to purchase clean water at 60-85% less than the price charged by purified water vendors.
- Village leaders have documented reduced cases of parasites and illness in villages with purification systems.
- The projects create jobs within the village.
Completed Purification Systems:
La Pusunca (2015) 175+ families
Jutiquile (2015) 1,000 families
Becerra (2015) 75 families
Casa Viejas (2015) 100 families
El Chaparo* (2015) 95 families
Guayarite (2015) 1,000 families
Nazareth (2015) Serves all OAF projects
El Higuerito (2016) 100 families
Las Lomas (2016) 90 families
Gualaco (2016) 1,800 people in San Geronimo parish & schools
Based upon the reliability and availability of power, a decision is made regarding whether or not to install a solar powered system.
|Electricity powered system||$10,000|
|Solar powered system *||$13,000|
At the midpoint of 2016, 3 systems have been completed, 4 are under construction and 4 more are on a waiting list for a purification system.
Mission teams and individuals fund projects. For information on helping us expand the program or to sponsor a team, contact us for more information here.