The mission of Water Charity is to implement immediate, efficient, and practical projects around the world to provide safe water and effective sanitation to those in need.


Conclusion of School Water Catchment and Piping Project – Tanzania

School Water Catchment and Piping Project – TanzaniaThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Emilia Myers. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to provide safe water to 200 students of the Kwemvumo Secondary School by reconstructing a water catchment tank, connecting it to the school, and running piping to various locations throughout the school.

Emilia reports:

Overall, the project ran very smoothly. The only major setback was that there were construction delays of 1.5 months due to the rainy season.

In addition to the managing the construction, Emilia held a seminar for students and teachers about increasing awareness and knowledge of water-borne diseases, and water users’ rights and responsibilities.

We are grateful to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for this successful project.

Conclusion of El Brison Water System Project – Dominican Republic

El Brison Water System Project – Dominican Republic This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Duncan Peabody. To read about the beginning of this project, CLICK HERE.

This project to build a ferro-cement tank for storage was the second to be implemented under Water Charity’s Ferro-Cement Tanks for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Program.

Duncan reports:

Work was recently completed on the 15,000 liter ferro-cement tank in the rural community of El Brison in the Dominican Republic. The tank will serve as the main storage tank for a water system that is being constructed to serve 45 homes in the village.

The construction was also the second of three ferro-cement tank trainings in which three Haitian masons are being trained in the design and construction of this technology. The three Haitian workers will then go to Haiti where they will build more tanks and capacitate more masons in the country.

El Brison Water System Project – Dominican Republic As this is the second tank in the training process the Haitian workers were put in charge of the actual construction with the Peace Corps volunteer and a master of construction overseeing their work.

Work brigades, each with eight men from the community of El Brison, worked each day to support the masons in their work. They helped with mixing the mortar, transporting materials, etc. Because El Brison is a very remote village with very little access, all of the materials had to be transported to the work site with mules.

Duncan reports on the process:

The ferro-cement tank construction is a five day process. On the first day the plumbing is placed and the floor is poured. This is the only day in which concrete (the cement mix contains gravel) was used on the tank. The floor is about 10cm thick and has 3/8” rebar inside it.

On the second day a cage is constructed of a mesh of soldered ¼” rebar covered on either side by chicken wire. The cage is constructed in a long 10 meter piece and then placed on the floor in the shape that the tank will take. The cage is wrapped tightly on the outside by tarps. Then a cement and sand mortar is applied to the space between the two layers of chicken wire. This first layer of mortar is about 3 cm thick.

El Brison Water System Project – Dominican Republic On the third day a second and third layer is applied to the inside and the outside of the first layer to cover the chicken wire which is still exposed. By this time the walls are almost at their full thickness of about 6 cm and are very sturdy.

A plaster coat is applied to the inside of the tank on the walls and the floor on the fourth day. The plaster coat contains a cement additive called Sika which makes it impermeable to water. This coat is extremely important for the tank to function correctly.

The roof is constructed on the final day of the tank construction. A support structure is built using wood beams and plywood. As soon as the structure is in place the tank can begin to be filled so that the floor and walls cure correctly. The tank will never be left without water in it after this point, except for a yearly cleaning. The roof is poured on top of this structure and left to dry for about a week. After a week the tank is entered through a door on top and the wood structure is deconstructed and removed from inside the tank.

Duncan comments on the technology:

The ferro-cement tank has several advantages over a cement block tank of equal size. Because the walls are only about 6cm thick the tank uses significantly less materials. This cuts costs by nearly one half and makes transporting the materials to difficult locations much easier.

Despite using less materials, the tank is structurally superior to a block tank because it is round. Block tanks generally leak from their corners. Furthermore the mesh cage that holds the cement makes the walls flexible so that they are much less susceptible to breaking in the case of seismic activity. For all of these reasons we are trying to spread this technology to Haiti where water is such a dire need at this time.

We again wish to thank Santevia Water Systems and The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for this project.

El Brison Water System Project – Dominican RepublicEl Brison Water System Project – Dominican Republic
El Brison Water System Project – Dominican RepublicEl Brison Water System Project – Dominican Republic
El Brison Water System Project – Dominican RepublicEl Brison Water System Project – Dominican Republic
El Brison Water System Project – Dominican RepublicEl Brison Water System Project – Dominican Republic

Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – Peru

Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – PeruNaranjo is an agricultural community of 60 families located in the highlands of northern Peru. It is situated at over 7,000 feet above sea level in the fertile hills of the northern department of Piura, Peru.

The community has a health post, a primary and secondary school, and a recently-renovated gravity-fed water system. However, it lacks basic sanitation infrastructure.

As is the case with most villages in the district, there is a high level of water and soil contamination resulting from human and animal defecation in the open-air, or in poorly-designed pits. Chronic gastro-intestinal illness and childhood malnutrition are a direct result.

This project is to construct 60 “dry bathrooms”, one for each family in the community. It will benefit 300 people.

Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – PeruDry bathrooms use no water, do not fill up the way that pit latrines do, and produce usable compost and liquid fertilizers for use in agriculture.

The project has been planned and will be coordinated by a project committee, composed of five dedicated community members (three men and two women).

Peace Corps Volunteer Matt Inbusch will direct the project.

Each participating family will provide the sand, gravel, and rock for the concrete mix, as well as wood beams for the roof, 500 adobe bricks for the hut, and manual labor during the construction phase.

Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – PeruRecipient families will prepare home gardens, micro-landfills, and small corrals for their domestic animals before receiving their construction materials.

Also required will be participation in a series of training workshops regarding various aspects of the project. In this way, the project will encompass more than sanitation alone.

In addition to the public health benefits derived from proper sanitation, the project also addresses the issues of nutrition, solid waste management, and environmental protection.

The participation of Water Charity in this project has now been funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

Any donations using the Donate button below will go toward additional water and sanitation projects in Peru.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Potrero Reduccion Bathroom Project - Paraguay

Potrero Reduccion Bathroom Project - ParaguayPotrero Reduccion is a community located in central Paraguay, about 5 kilometers from the town of Itape and about 25 kilometers from Villarrica.

The only school in the community lacks running water and a bathroom. Teachers and students must retrieve water and use a latrine a distance from the school.

This project is to provide the school with running water and a bathroom. This has been an ongoing project for the past few years, but has been stalled for lack of funds to complete it.

The project will be carried out under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Adam Montgomery.

Potrero Reduccion Bathroom Project - ParaguayThe community has already built a room for the bathroom and has also acquired several key materials for the completion of this project.

Project funds will be used to buy the lacking materials to fully complete the project.

The bathroom will include three private stalls (3 commodes), one sink, one shower, and lighting.

The school currently has an artesian well located about 30 feet from the proposed bathroom that they use to retrieve water.

Potrero Reduccion Bathroom Project - ParaguayWater will be pumped from the well to the bathroom. The water is potable, and a spigot will be installed at the school garden along with the faucet in the bathroom

Bathroom waste will pumped to a secluded area located at the site of the old latrine in the back of the school.

170 people will benefit from the project, including the 40 students and 5 teachers at the school and the rest of the community that regularly uses the school for community events.

This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

Any donations using the Donate button below will go toward additional water and sanitation projects in Paraguay.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Conclusion of Family Latrines Project – Benin

Conclusion of Family Latrines Project – Bagou, BeninThis project has been successfully completed, under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Elliot Grochal. To see the history of the project CLICK HERE.

The project was to construct 50 family latrines in Bagou. According to Elliot, all of the latrines were completed in accordance with the specifications.

By way of background, Elliot reports:

Before this project there were a total of 18 latrines for a population of 3,500. Needless to say the village could use many more, but I am confident that this project has set them in the right direction.

Elliot continues:

Two months after starting, we had finished all 50 latrines. All holes were dug at least 5 meters, and now currently nearly all have walls and roofs covering the latrine.

The biggest hump was halfway through when the cement ran out everywhere for 300 km. Once it returned, the price was too high for our budget, so I had to anxiously wait while families grew restless to finish their latrines. Eventually I bargained a workable price from a nearby town, and convinced the mayor to let me borrow his tractor to transport the remaining cement to Bagou. The rest was a piece of cake (wink).

Regarding the impact on the community, Elliot reports:

After having spent two years in this village, I am positive that latrines are the most needed improvement to the population’s well being. It will most likely be difficult to imagine how it is possible for so many people to be living without things as basic as a latrine. All I can say is there is a lot of strength, and stubbornness that allows them to survive.

But after speaking with so many women who spend at least one hour a day walking to and from the outskirts of the village to ‘fertilize the crops’ (most said the walk was 30min and none had bikes to speed up the trip like the men), it was clear that the latrines will not only help with disease and sickness but also serve as a time saving product.

We are grateful to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for this successful project.

Conclusion of Family Latrines Project – Bagou, BeninConclusion of Family Latrines Project – Bagou, Benin
Conclusion of Family Latrines Project – Bagou, BeninConclusion of Family Latrines Project – Bagou, Benin

Gregorio Ferro-Cement Tank and Rainwater Catchment Project - Brazil

Gregorio Ferro-Cement Tank and Rainwater Catchment Project - BrazilThis is a project to build a rainwater catchment system and ferro-cement tank in the village of Gregório, municipality of Queimadas, state of Bahia, in Brazil.

Gregorio village has 321 families, comprised of 1100 inhabitants. Queimadas has 16,000 residents. The villagers suffer from water shortages, and are dependent on water trucks that come to deliver water.

To get a graphic image of the water crisis in the community, and the need for a water storage system, CLICK HERE

The tank will be built beside the College Renato Gonçalves Martins. The site was selected by an association of villagers and heads of the school to serve the school and the surrounding community, and meets the approval of the municipal secretary of development and education.

Gregorio Ferro-Cement Tank and Rainwater Catchment Project - BrazilThis project, Water Charity’s first in Brazil, will be implemented by Instituto Diamante Verde (IDV) under the direction of our friend Rosângela Araújo, who serves as its Vice President.

The ferro-cement tank will have a capacity of 30,000 liters, and will hold water collected from the rainwater catchment system. The tank can also be filled from water trucks during the dry season.

The rainwater catchment system, comprised of zinc gutters, will be fabricated by a specialist on site. The gutters will be attached to the roof of the school, and will capture water from the 360 square meter roof. Water will flow through a PVC pipe into the tank, and will be available on demand.

A master builder, with experience in this tank technology, will supervise the construction. The residents of the community will provide the labor.

There will be a capability for filtering the water, if necessary, utilizing the seeds of Moringa trees. The trees are already being grown under a separate project being carried out by the community with the assistance of IDV.

The project will directly benefit the 180 students registered at the school, plus approximately 400 additional villagers, comprised of relatives of the students and neighbors of the school.

This project has now been funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage additional donations. Any donations using the Donate button below will go toward additional water and sanitation projects in Brazil.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Conclusion of Latrine Building Project – Benin

Latrine Building Project – Benin This project has been successfully completed, under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Dennis Chon. To see the history of the project CLICK HERE.

The project was to construct eight family latrines in the rural community of Akodebakou, Benin. The technique was to use concrete blocks made on-site to line the pits to contain the waste.

Dennis reports that all of the latrines were completed according to plan, despite some delays due to roadblocks and a shortage of cement in the area.

Dennis Chon, PCV - Benin Individual families were left to complete the latrines with privacy walls according to their own preference and on their own schedule.

Dennis had the opportunity to discuss latrine usage, latrine maintenance, and the importance of washing hands with the participants.

Dennis was able to finish this great project, within budget, on the eve of his completion of service with the Peace Corps. He is returning to California leaving his community a better place.

Latrine Building Project – Benin

La Colorada Arriba Water System Tank Project - Dominican Republic

La Colorada Arriba Water System Project - Dominican RepublicThis project is the third project to be implemented under the Water Charity Ferro-Cement Tanks for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Program. It calls for the construction of a 50,000 liter ferro-cement tank for water storage to serve the community of La Colorada Arriba, Dominican Republic. It is the largest and most ambitious undertaking, and offers significant economies of scale as a result.

The project is under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer and Engineer Sarah Casey as part of a larger plan for a comprehensive water system for the community.

La Colorada Arriba is a rural community of almost 900 people, living without access to potable water. To meet their daily needs, families are left with no choice but to buy river water contaminated with diarrhea-causing parasites from passing trucks. Particularly in young children and the elderly, diarrhea can lead to serious health complications, including dehydration and malnutrition, or even death.

Community members, well aware of their need for potable water, have identified a sustainable solution—a water distribution system powered by a centrifugal pump. Water will be pumped from a protected spring to a storage tank located above the community. From there water will travel completely by gravity to the community below. The spring, with almost a liter per second of flow, provides sufficient water to meet the residents’ demands as well as those of the community centers: a schoolhouse and three community churches.

La Colorada Arriba Water System Project - Dominican RepublicTo ensure sustainability, the community has formed a water committee to manage the project through all stages: planning, construction, and maintenance. The residents of La Colorada Arriba will supply all necessary labor for construction as well as a monthly quota towards future system upkeep.

Additionally, each family is contributing $35 towards the purchase of materials. While the community is contributing in kind a large percentage of the overall project cost, they do not have the financial means to purchase the majority of the materials.

A significant part of the overall project is the construction of the storage tank, which will use the proven ferro-cement tank technology. The tank will have sufficient capacity to provide water on demand for the community during all seasons of the year and all hours of the day.

Project funds will be used to purchase materials, including rebar, wire mesh, cement, sand, gravel, wire, aluminum lids, plywood, tarp, paint and plumbing fixtures.

As part of the overall program, the construction of this tank will include the training of several Haitians who, immediately after completion of training, will go to Haiti to build additional tanks. As this is the third tank in the process, they have already gained substantial proficiency, and this construction of a larger tank will provide needed additional experience.

The construction of this tank is underway, and expected to take a week or so to complete.

To indicate your desire for your contribution to be allocated toward this project, please click the Donate button below.

The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust has graciously offered to provide matching funds for donations contributed for this project.

This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion of this project, CLICK HERE.

Conclusion of School Latrines Project - Mali

Tounto School Latrines Project - MaliThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Zac Mason. To read about the beginning of this project, CLICK HERE.

According to Zac:

Tounto is a settlement of some 4,000 people who are mostly simple millet farmers. They have a market, a small clinic, a primary school, and the recently built secondary school.

75 percent of all of the students at this school come down with diarrhea over the course of the year, and at least 65 percent come down with full-blown dysentery.

The project was to build sanitary latrines and handwashing stations at the Tounto Secondaire Cycle.

Tounto School Latrines Project - MaliZac reports:

Exceeding all expectations, we have three latrines – one for boys, one for girls, and one for teachers. And we have a barrel with a spigot that the students are going to fill with water so that they can wash their hands.

The women will provide handmade soap, and the students and adults of Tounto will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the latrines.

Project funds were used to buy cement and other construction materials. Secondaire Cycle student body collected sand, gravel, gravel and rocks.

Brick masons made the bricks, and the Tounto Youth Association made up of young men in their teens and twenties, provided the bulk of the labor.

This project is estimated to serve 200 people. It will have a great effect on the school and community, in that it will eliminate the epidemiological hazards of open defecation. It will have the greatest effect on schoolgirls, in that it will eliminate the shame of exposing themselves to perform their bodily functions, and thereby make it easier for them to remain in school.

Our thanks go to Zac, for implementing the project despite the difficulties, and to all of the participants who made it possible.

We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing funding for this project.

Conclusion of La Cruz Water Project – Guatemala

La Cruz Water Project - GuatemalaThis project has been completed under the technical direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Ashley Kissinger. To read about the beginning of this project, CLICK HERE.

The project started with an objective to build a 1,200 liter rainwater catchment tank, with an accompanying handwashing station, at the elementary school in La Cruz, Cajola, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

It became much more, with the help of a number of individuals and agencies.

In June, Ashley reported:

We started construction four weeks ago, but due to Agatha we had suspended construction for two weeks due to the conditions of the road. Currently, we are up and running again. The water tank can hold up to 40,000 L of water and has its own 5M water pozo (well) and rain water catchment system.




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Water Charity Honored

Water Charity Honored by Metropolitan Water District on World Water Day 2010

Water Charity was honored by the Metroplitan Water District and Friends of United Nations on World Water Day 2010 for our work in helping people obtain clean water worldwide.

WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality

The Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, third edition is now available as one integrated volume incorporating revisions reflected in the First and Second addenda.

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Quotations

Water is the only drink for a wise man.
Henry David Thoreau
US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)