Project Overview

In 2020, Global Brigades completed a new water system in the community of La Peñita in collaboration with the local community members. This system provides water to 120 permanent inhabitants and over 300 immigrants that stay in La Peñita as refugees.

La Peñita, Panama

Prior to Global Brigades involvement, La Peñita had no water system. Community members collected rainwater for drinking and cooking and used the river for bathing. When the rain was insufficient to keep up with drinking water needs, community members purchased potable water. There were many possible sources of contamination for rainwater and the river, which put community members at risk for contracting water-borne illnesses.

Water System Solution

An engineer from the municipality of Chepigana designed a plan for a water system that would pump water from the river. This design had only been partially constructed in July 2019, when a partnership between La Peñita and Global Brigades’ Water Program began. Representatives from Footprints Possibilities and students from Michigan Technological University acted as consultants to design the distribution network for the water system.

It was determined that the best fit for La Peñita would be use the existing pump and water tank, and install household connections with water meters. Community members and brigades began working on this water system in December 2019 and finished in March 2020. This system now supplies water to 120 inhabitants and immigrants that stayed in La Peñita as refugees.

Now that the project is complete, the members of the Water Council will be trained on water treatment and system maintenance, administration, and operation, so they can continue adequately managing the water system. La Peñita will also establish a monthly water fee determined by usage in order to pay the Water Council for water treatment, maintenance costs, and system sustainability.

Water Project Stages

This project is complete.

1: Assessment Completed
2: Design
3: Dam/Well & Tank Constructed
4: Piping & House Connections Installed
5: Project Completed & Doing Follow-up