Chiquitano EIA/Rotary/FCBC Safe Water Project

Posted on: July 2, 2010

Project Update Chiquitano Forest Safe Water Project

Explanation of This project at:  http://engineersinaction.org/projects/current-projects/chiquitano

Most Recent Report June 12-17, 2010During the week of June 12th to the 17th, 2 water pumps were repaired and a third was inspected, near the town of Concepción. The 2 wells that were worked on are now functional and can dispense potable water. The people in the communities where the wells are located appeared very happy to have access to clean water.

Repairing Pumps

In the first community, San Lucas, the pump was functional and a community leader confirmed that the pumped had been repaired 6 months ago. In the second community, San Miguel de la Cruz, the water pump barely dispensed water. As a result, the cylinder was removed and new seals and springs were installed. After this maintenance, the well was able to pump water at a much faster rate. Finally, in the community of Monte Cristo, the pump was not functional and could not pump water. In order to understand the problem, the tubes, rods, and cylinder were removed from the well. The rods were found to be rusted and the cylinder had rusted springs and corroded seals. These parts were replaced for new ones, and after the pump was reassembled, it was able to dispense water. In conclusion, 3 water pumps have been inspected and maintained so that all 3 are currently operational.

Community Response

Community members were instrumental in work this week, and appeared very grateful to have their wells functional again. In all of the communities that weʼve visited, community members have contributed their time and effort. In the places in which weʼve serviced the water pumps, at least 3 men in each community were willing to assist in the work for the entire day. Often there were men, women, and children that would gather around the well and help in any way that they could.

One women, in Monte Cristo, brought us boiled eggs as a gesture of thanks as she said that this water well meant that she didnʼt have to walk 200 meters for water. In another community, as we finished working on a water well, women and children came to the well with buckets to immediately get potable water.

These small actions suggested to me how much the community valued their functional water well.

Approximate Community Population

San Miguel de la Cruz ~12 familias

Monte Cristo ~27 familias

Conclusion

There are 2 more functional water wells near the town of Concepción as a result of well maintenance last week. In general, the pump problems consisted of rusted rods and corroded seals. On the non-technical side of the project, the mayor of Concepción may have little awareness of the project. As far as the community members near the water wells are concerned, they have been willing to help in well repairs and were very grateful for functional water pumps.

  • To improve borehole and water well installation of wells in the Chiquitano
  • Maintain and test the existing wells
  • Rehabilitate Abandoned Wells
  • Create Community Maps for future Water distribution systems utilizing EWB Teams
  • Train Municipal Water Technicians in Pump Maintenance and Repair
  • Put additional hand pumps on “open-casing” bore holes.

This project alone has the potential to bring potable water to 60,000 people in Bolivia.

Afnan (Tower) & Jacob (ground) repairing hand pump in San Lucas