Los Liquidambos never had a centralized water system that provided access to the entire community. Some community members built wells to supply water needs of parts of the community, while the majority of the families walked to the nearest sources to bathe, wash clothes, and collect and carry water for household use. During the dry season, some of these cources dried up, and people had to travel farther away from their homes to access water. There were also two wells with hand pumps installed in Los Liquidambos, but one of the wells had a broken hand pump and the other was said to access water of bad quality. Regardless of how they accessed water, there was no central treatment and few families treat their drinking water within their homes, increasing the risk of contracting waterborne sicknesses caused by the bacteria and parasites present in untreated water.
The community of Los Liquidambos was very well organized, with a recently formed 8-member Water Council that was sworn in by the local mayor. However, there is no established water fee nor a plumber trained to maintain the water system.
Water System Solution
Water Brigaders from 15 different universities worked in Los Liquidambos from May 2013 to August 2013. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to:
• Install a dam and intake infrastructure with a filter
• Build a 10,000 gallon storage tank with chlorinator
• Redesign and construct an entire distribution network
• Connect all houses and churches to the system
• 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. Since the moment that Water Brigades first entered the community of Los Liquidambos, the community has demonstrated their willingness and desire to work with Global Brigades and construct a water system in their community. Community members recognized the positive impact that the water systems in Buena Vista and El Retiro had on the quality-of-life of their neighbors in these nearby communities. Thus, they asked Global Brigades for their support and have proved to be extremely dedicated to the project
Water Project Stages
All stages of this water project have been completed.