El Caimito Potable Water Project

What can be accomplished by a group a small group of donors – Spring 2015

Sometimes the generosity of our supporters extends well beyond an annual donation. The El Caimito Water Supply Project is a case in point.

In the spring of 2015, a handful of longtime supporters were musing about pooling their resources to fund an agricultural project that would make a difference in the lives of the poor in Nicaragua. In June of the same year, they sat down with FUNDACCO’s Administrative Coordinator, Luis Enrique Mora, while he was in Edmonton. By the close of that meeting, they had agreed to support a project to bring clean water to 63 farm families in El Caimito.
This rural community in northern part of Nicaragua has experienced the significant effects of climate change. The drought of the past two years has caused shallow wells to dry up, forcing families to walk up to a kilometer to access potable water from producing wells. The water supply project had been initiated in partnership with El Bloque, a Nicaraguan non-profit organization, but was stalled due to lack of funding and support.

Four Alberta-based sponsors were able to make quick work of soliciting funds to complete the project. According to one of the sponsors, “it seemed like the kind of project that gives the community a hand up instead of a hand out, and I’m sure Father Denis would have been 100% in favor.”

El Caimito Potable Water Project

By mid August, meetings with community members had confirmed there was local support for a community-based water distribution system. Project information was collected that included the number of inhabitants and the amount of water required to fulfill the daily needs of the community. The logistics for installation of a water tank, an electric well pump and distribution piping were determined as well as the flow rate of an existing well that was to supply the installation. Also taken into consideration was the cost to the community of maintaining the water supply system once the infrastructure was installed.

As part of the agreement, community members supplied 95% of the manual labor for the installation and each beneficiary household was required to pay a small monthly fee to cover power and maintenance costs. Management of the system will be locally based with selected residents of El Caimito serving on a water committee with responsibility for operations, administration and maintenance.

The 216 inhabitants of El Caimito were understandably eager for the first water delivery day and they looked forward to improving health and sanitation and for the ability to now establish backyard gardens. The women and children who were mostly responsible for transporting the water will now have more time for domestic chores and studies, and the community as a whole will be able to enjoy a higher standard of living. The generosity and initiative of these four sponsors has brought hope to the community of El Caimito.