Prior to Global Brigades’ arrival, the community of Guaricayán relied on a water supply system that did not provide or meet local needs in terms of quality and quantity. The previously existing water system was constructed in 1987 by the Honduran government. Very little monitoring or follow-up was provided after construction. The original system was constructed to supply a total of less than 20 households without taking into account the growth of the community. Houses which were not originally connected to the system were forced to get water by carrying it from a nearby stream. Moreover, pipe diameters in the original system design were not sufficient to provide water consistently to all the houses that were connected. After functioning well for the first few years, the system began to fail and people connected to the system were forced to retrieve water from neighbors or streams despite the existing water system. This infrastructural failure caused the community to stop treating its water. The health center of El Zarzal, which serves six communities in the area reported that Guaricayán has had the most cases of water and sanitation related illnesses.
At the time, the Water Council had only five members, none of whom, were not complying with their responsibilities. Due to lack of organization in the Water Council and poor water service, the vast majority of community members were not paying the established 10 Lempira (US $0.50) water fee.
Water System Solution
Water Brigaders from nine different universities worked in Guaricayán in January and February 2011. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to:
• Construct a new dam
• Build and paint a new 5,000 gallon storage tank with a chlorinator
• Dig approximately 3,200 meters of trench and install pipeline
• Connect 33 houses, 1 school, and 1 church
• Supply each house with a water storage bucket
• Provide educational seminars to children in the community on water and health related topics
To ensure the sustainability of the project, a new seven member Water Council was established and trained by Water Brigades in addition to a Basic Sanitation Committee also trained by Water Brigades. Guaricayán was a great example of a community which was not complacent in its situation, something that can be found in other rural communities where Water Brigades has worked. With minimal support from the government, community members in Guaricayán had been active in pursuing a water solution in their community up until Water Brigades arrived. With the incredible support of the brigade groups and all the people of Guaricayán, the project was finished with great success in only two months. All houses in the Guaricayán now have sufficient treated water in their homes.
Water Project Stages
All stages of this water project have been completed.