The people at the El Ojoche Escela Diriangen school gather water from a spring-fed well. During the March and April season, the spring dries up, and the women and children
must travel rough roads to find water. The families go to the riverbed, dig holes in the riverbed, wait for water to fill the holes, and then scoop the water out and fill their containers.
Both of these options are still contaminated sources for the families, and cause waterborne illnesses such as typhoid and dysentery. Children have round bellies full of parasites, and struggle to focus at school. Women struggle with kidney infections and disease due to lack of enough drinking water.
There is not enough water to tend a garden for extra food. They must walk their livestock to the same water spot so the animals can drink. When they are done, they scoop up water
and bring it home.
Living Water International’s (LWI) program implementation through WASH Program Areas is unique in that it aims to bring lasting
physical and spiritual development in communities through a multi-year program focused on specific regions, thoughtfully integrating and contextualizing principles of water access, sanitation, hygiene, church mobilization, gospel proclamation, and sustainability. This project is within our WPA of Moyamba.
LWI will provide training and backstopping support during the first six years, until the local water committees and community have gathered enough fees to build a reserve for funding future maintenance. Water users will pay small monthly water user fees by household and these funds will be collected and managed by the water user committee, for future repairs and maintenance of the system. The well caregiver will be equipped to do the ongoing general care.
With a new borehole well and hand pump, life would be incredibly different for this community. Access to safe water close to their
homes would stop the time poverty cycle of walking long distances to gather water. They would have time to care for their children, grow a garden, or possibly start a micro-business. Once they learn how diseases are spread, they would have the knowledge to stop the transmission of illnesses and parasites. The children’s bellies would no longer be bloated, but instead, the children would be healthier. School attendance and focus would be much better. Women would no longer have the kidney issues because they feel they can drink enough water each day. The clinic would no longer be full of sick people with water borne illnesses. There would be a feeling of pride in the community, because they would have their own water well and they would take great care of this resource.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
The 120 residents of El Ojoche, a Nicaraguan community situated near the Honduran border, faced the water crisis every day. Community members relied on various methods to secure water for their daily needs, including digging hand-dug wells, collecting rainwater, and fetching water from natural streams. Their water source heavily depended on the season, as the streams and rain would dissipate with the hot months. Community members knew the water was contaminated with sickness-inducing bacteria, but they had no choice but to continue to drink it.
In the summer, water was scarcely available, forcing residents to wander the broader region for water. All members of the community, including children, contributed to the work of searching for water, carrying heavy buckets and containers back to their community via treacherous roads. The task was strenuous, time-consuming, and discouraging, as the water they gathered still wasn’t safe for consumption.
Residents attempted to purchase water from local vendors but couldn’t afford the high prices. Without a reliable, secure, and proximate source of water, the El Ojoche community felt cornered by the water crisis.
They knew that a new well could interrupt the cycle of poverty and need they found themselves in and began looking for help.
Soon, residents learned about Living Water Nicaragua’s work in neighboring communities and requested an initial evaluation.
The staff visited El Ojoche and was greeted by an eager and unified community. The Living Water team determined that a water project was pertinent and could be accomplished on the community’s school grounds. Living Water announced that the community qualified for a new well.
Soon, the staff returned to begin construction. The team drilled 60 meters into the earth until they reached a safe water aquifer, flushed away debris, and shock chlorinated the reservoir’s water. After they tested the water to ensure it was safe for consumption, the staff installed a hand pump and laid a concrete base to drain excess water hygienically.
The community finally had a consistent source of water, right in the heart of their community!
|TOTAL WATER USERS:||120|
|MAIN WATER COLLECTORS:||entire community|
|Pump Type:||hand pump|
|Project Type:||new simple water system|
|Depth of Well:||60 m|
|WATER QUALITY TESTS|
|TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS:||339 ppm|
To help the community steward the new well moving forward, Living Water Nicaragua staff helped guide residents in a number of sustainability best practices.
First and foremost, the team helped the El Ojoche community form a water committee, whose primary responsibility is to manage the upkeep and operations of the new water system. This four-person group will collect a small, agreed-upon fee from residents in order to save for future repairs. In addition, the Living Water staff trained the water committee and residents in basic care for their well. The water committee will
play the vital role of reporting on their well’s quality and efficiency to Living Water Nicaragua staff.
“Our community has experienced the water crisis for as long as we can remember. In the warmer months, the spring that supplies the school with water dries up. In addition, we cannot afford the municipality distribution system. The prices are too high. So, we have no choice but to go out and find water in the wider community. We had to gather water from the banks of streams and carry buckets of water home. We knew that this water was contaminated, but we had to drink it out of necessity.”
SANITATION & HYGIENE
The Living Water staff also guided the community in sanitation and hygiene lessons that will allow them to best utilize their new well to better their health. Sixteen residents attended a number of lessons, ranging in topic from proper care of the new well to how diseases are spread through unsafe water. The school’s students also participated in interactive sanitation and hygiene lessons that incorporated memorable games and tools. These lessons emphasized the importance of handwashing as the first defense against sickness and incorporated a time for students to practice their newly-learned handwashing techniques. Because of these lessons, a group of mothers in the community decided to instate a cleaning campaign across the community.
IN JESUS’ NAME
At the conclusion of the project, the Living Water staff, in conjunction with a local church, led a well dedication ceremony with 25 residents. At this service, the community prayed over their new well, thanking God for his provision through your gift,
Ingomar Living Water. A local pastor shared the story of the Samaritan woman at the well found in John 4, explaining that they are offered the same living water only found in Christ. All 25 attendees received a translated Bible and are excited to share the gospel orally with their friends and family.
Ingomar Living Water, your generosity fundamentally changed the lives of 120 residents in El Ojoche. With safe water at their fingertips, residents are able to proactively plan for their future, rather than reacting out of desperation. No longer will residents feel trapped by their circumstances. The holistic gift of safe, reliable water alongside the good news of gospel will impact this community for generations. Your gift will serve as a reminder to the community that God’s abounding love meets both their spiritual and physical needs.
Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus name, Ingomar Living Waters!
RESIDENTS MAP OUT THEIR COMMUNITY TO VISUALIZE THEIR LONG-TERM GOALS.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.