The community of Pajarillos in San Juan de Flores relied on a potable water system that was not adequate for its needs. That system, built in 1985, was only designed and originally constructed for a portion of the houses in the community. Year round, houses could go 3 to 4 days without water, and up to weeks during the dry season. During the dry season, people received as little as an average of 2 gallons per person per day. Illnesses related to water and poor sanitation were common. The water was occasionally treated when community leaders had the funds to purchase the chlorine. However, the people were not paying the water fee and the lack of a complete water council made it difficult to purchase chlorine. As a very under resourced community, Pajarillos did not have the funds to improve their existing system, or to consider constructing a new system. The community had previously solicited support from government organizations without receiving any help. Water Brigades came to an agreement with the community of Pajarillos to assist in the reconstruction of their potable water system.
Water System Solution
Water Brigaders from nine different universities worked in Pajarillos from January to March 2010. During that time, the volunteers worked with community members to:
• Construct a new dam with a spillway and intake infrastructure
• Build a new conduction line
• Install all cleaning, air release, and control valves
• Repair storage tanks and chlorinator
• Redesign and build entire distribution network
• 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. When Water Brigades first entered the community of Pajarillos in January 2010, a dire need water was observed. Furthermore, the community lacked strong leadership and organization. The biggest challenge of the project in Pajarillos, and perhaps the biggest success, was working with and eventually seeing the change in community organization and buy-in to the water project.
Water Project Stages
All stages of this water project have been completed.