There is no clean water source nearby this school. Women and children walk 2 kilometers to a rain catchment source in the wintertime, or collect water from a few hand dug contaminated wells that are not dried up. The girls and women are responsible to collect the family’s water. The poverty cycle of searching for water prevents girls from attending school, and robs women of time that could be better spent caring for their families, gardens, and possible micro-businesses.
The families in this community suffer from waterborne illnesses every day. The community’s main source of water is from a few hand dug wells where they must use ropes and buckets to pull the water from the depths of the wells. The water they do find is contaminated, causing illnesses such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and often parasites that rob their bodies of nutrients. What little money families do manage to earn often is being spent on medicines to cure water borne illnesses vs. being able to use the hard earned funds towards building a better life for their families.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
The school called Bigues i Riellis was a central part of life in the Santa Eulalia community. Yet a severe water crisis was harming the school environment and thus the students’ capacity to learn and grow up healthy. The school relied upon a hand-dug well, and there were other, similar wells throughout the community. The water levels in the wells fluctuated, and sometimes accessing water from them was difficult or impossible. The school faculty and students often had to ration their water to make it last. In desperate situations, the students walked kilometers to use drainage water that flowed in ditches. Aside from being scarce, the water in the
community was also unsafe to use. Despite the residents’ efforts to cover the wells, contaminants infiltrated the water. The water
in the ditches was even more dangerous. Yet the students and school faculty had no other choice but to use this water, and so water-related illnesses were rampant. When students were ill, they lost time in the classroom. This increased their chances of ultimately dropping out.
The teachers and school administrators were distraught that they could not fulfill their mission of providing a safe and effective learning environment. They knew that the water access situation needed to improve, but they were unsure of how to make this change on their own. The school leadership began to seek out external help.
A school faculty member named Indiana Lopez was familiar with Living Water International’s work drilling safe water wells. She knew that a well project would transform the school environment and decided to request their help. The Living Water Nicaragua staff had compassion on the school’s plight and agreed to come visit. They assessed the situation and decided the school was ready to sustain a safe water well responsibly. They were glad to inform the students and educators that a project could begin soon because of your generous gift, Ingomar Living Waters!
The staff soon returned to begin the project. The team drilled until they reached a safe water aquifer at 50 meters deep. They flushed out the borehole to clear it of sedimentary rock debris. Once the team cased the borehole with PVC, they formed a gravel pack and sanitary seal and mounted
a hand pump. The well was complete!
|TOTAL WATER USERS:
|MAIN WATER COLLECTORS:
|new simple system
|DEPTH OF WELL:
WATER QUALITY TESTS
|TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS:
Living Water Nicaragua helped the school prepare for a future of sustained safe water access and improved health. They guided the students and
faculty in forming a water committee, which will oversee the proper use of the well. The water committee will also remain in contact with Living Water Nicaragua about the functionality of the pump and collect a small monthly fee per household to cover the cost of potential future repairs. Now that the community members were invited into the process of stewarding their safe
water well, they will find healing in the hope of improved standards of living that they help bring about.
We had many problems caused by unsafe and insufficient water. We only had hand-dug wells that did not have safe water. There was no pump, so water was hard to reach, and the water was exposed. The children suffered many diseases from the water. The students and teachers had to walk two kilometers to use [ditches] where water flowed in the winter. This was where students often washed their hands and cleaned their dishes. We will have a very big change in our community and school now that we can drink safe water. We will no longer have to consume or use poor quality water.
SANITATION & HYGIENE
THE LIVING WATER STAFF LEADS A SANITATION
AND HYGIENE TRAINING AT THE SCHOOL.
A STUDENT PRACTICES WASHING
HER HANDS CORRECTLY.
The Living Water Nicaragua staff also led sanitation and hygiene
promotional activities at the school. A total of 38 people benefited
from the interactive and fun lessons. The participants benefited
from the hands-on approach to the topics and the visual aids used
in the lessons. They learned about how they can make improvements
in their personal hygiene. The participants learned how correct
handwashing is the best way to safeguard themselves against germ
spread and disease transmission. They also learned about dental hygiene.
In a more prescriptive lesson, the staff explained how to
remedy the vicious cycle of dehydration and diarrhea by
administering a solution of safe water, salt, and sugar.
However, the participants learned that they should see a
reduced need for this oral rehydration solution as they
begin to drink plenty of safe water.
The staff also taught the community members how to prevent
the spread of COVID-19 by wearing face coverings.
Living Water also partnered with the local Apostolic and Prophetic churches for an evangelism session. There were 231 community members present at the event where they worshipped along with Living Water staff. The church leaders presented a sermon. The Living Water staff also led the community members in a well dedication ceremony and distributed 24 Bibles for the community members to keep as gifts. They sang worship songs and prayed that their safe water well would continue to nourish the community.
Ingomar Living Waters, thank you for ending the water crisis for Escuela Bigues i Riellis. The compassion you showed the school and greater community testified of God’s love for the children, their educators, and their families. Jesus said in Matthew 10:42 (NIV), “… If
anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Because you selflessly gave the gift of safe water, the Santa Eulalia community can experience hope and healing. Students are given a safer and healthier environment to learn now that their water is safe and located near their classrooms, they can dedicate more time to learning. Your gift of safe water at the school will impact generations to come, impacting countless lives.
Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus’ name!