The Clean Water Project in the bocacosta community that is working in tandem with the Child Nutrition project is going very well. We are happy to report that almost every home has a filter in place! The filters are point-of-use- Bio Sand Filters. In Collaboration with Engineers without Borders-University of Illinois, Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake Canada and Rotary Club of Mazatenango, Guatemala we have made this project a reality. The Bio-Sand filters are being constructed by community members and delivered to each house. Many houses have had their filters for several months. Only one neighborhood still needs filters installed.
This summer we wanted to evaluate the project at midstream to see how the filters were working and to check on project implementation, use of the filters, and understanding of the maintenance of the filters. We were lucky to have volunteers on hand to help us out through the process. Clarice Amorim and Yohan Song worked closely with Mayra and Cata to do surveys about the water project in every household. We had a great initial response. Almost every family who has a filter is actively using the filter. Also, many families believed their children were healthier due to drinking clean water for several months. Over the next few months we will analyze the results of all of the surveys and feedback from the community. In December or January we will be holding a one year anniversary celebration of the beginning of the implementation of the Water Project. This will be a one day celebration focused on education about clean water and the cleaning, maintenance and use of the filters as well as fun and food. We will celebrate along with the engineer team from EWB-University of Illinois that will be coming to Guatemala to review the project and fitlers. We are also forging new relationships with the Universidad del Valle en Guatemala City and their engineering department which should bring new ideas and project.
We are also happy to report, that due to this water project technology, we were able to make a big impact in communities around Lake Atitlan. Immediately following tropical storm Agatha we sent our team of filter builders from the bocacosta to Panajachel to collaborate with the NGO, Mayan Families. Our team brought our filter molds, tools and information and spent several weeks teaching members of the communities and Mayan Families how to build the filters. As of today Wuqu’ Kawoq has built 100 filters around the lake to help bring clean water to many families. Mayra and Cata also traveled to Panajachel to provide a day of training on how to use, maintain, and clean the filters as well as basic clean water information. Overall, this collaboration has been wonderful and we have really enjoyed working with Mayan Families.