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Ongoing Efforts in Honduras

Digging the pipe trench

WEFTA has teamed up with a Spanish NGO called Geologos del Mundo (Geologists of the World) and an American missionary group called Honduras Ministry, Inc. (comprised of Baptist churches from Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, Georgia, and Arkansas). Together we’ve made progress on a multi-phase project for the community of Monquecagua. Developing a new water source, and providing chlorinators and storage tanks, are all underway, as well as construction of a distribution system for 380 homes.

Much of the initial funding for this important project came from donations from the Vinyl Institute and the American Chemistry Council, together with funding raised locally by the community members for Phase 1 of this project, consisting of a new water source and PVC transmission main line. Phase 2 consists of two new chlorinators and two storage tanks/chlorine contact basins (one 30,000 gallons and one 10,000 gallons). Geologists of the World, together with volunteers from the community, recently started work on these tanks. Phase 3 will consist of an all-new PVC distribution network to all 380 families. This new pipe network is necessary because (1) the old network was failing and could not handle the pressure of the new water supply, and (2) due to lack of adequate pressure, the old network left over 100 families unconnected and without water. The new Phase 3 pipe network, currently under construction, will reach every family in the town and have enough pressure for everyone.

Laying the Pipe Line
In addition, WEFTA is beginning an effort for the community of Llano Largo. The community has no dependable water source. A team of volunteer engineers from WEFTA was recently in-country to design a gravity-fed pipeline and develop a spring catchment system. Seed money is being provided by the Honduran government but additional funding will be needed.

Our lead volunteer engineer, Andrew Robertson, P.E., commented: “On a personal note, I think this community suffers the most extreme hardship, in terms of water, that I have ever seen in 20 years of traveling.” The area is very dry and it doesn’t rain for 5 months at a time. There is no water system here at all. The residents literally get their water from shallow holes in the ground, typically filled with filthy water. When these dry up, the next nearest water source is the river, 1.5 hours away on foot. No one here owns a car, so they have to carry water in 5-gallon buckets (each weighing about 40 pounds), either on foot or by donkey. Washing clothes every week necessitates a 3 hour walk to the river carrying a full laundry basket. A local woman explained to Andrew on a recent trip that she estimates that she and other community members spend 10 hours a week carrying water.

The new water system designed by the WEFTA team will consist of a 10.6 mile gravity-fed pipeline that will carry 66 gallons per minute of water from a natural spring in the mountains down to the village. The spring catchment and main pipeline will be Phase 1. Phase 2 will consist of chlorine contact basins/storage tanks for Llano Largo and two surrounding villages, Guadalupe and Quioco. Phase 3 will consist of distribution networks for the communities. The combined population of these three villages is approx. 1,080 people.

Forming the Base of the Catchment

This type of project highlights the team effort required for successful projects. In this case, the sponsors, Vinyl Institute and the Foundation for Chemistry Research and Initiatives provided funding for materials; WEFTA and its volunteers donated time for design and construction inspection; and the community provided much of the funding and all of the labor for installation of the system including the clearing and excavation of 10.6 miles of a pipeline trench.For more information on the Honduras projects, please refer to travel reports from Marty Howell and Emily Sotelo available on our Honduras page.