Rotary Club grant provides clean water in Honduras

Special to the PRESS

Imagine not having electricity for 5 – 20 hours each day or receiving impure water every eight days.  That is life in Barrio Eduardo Castillo in Trujillo, Honduras.

The Port Isabel Rotary Club joined forces with the Trujillo, Honduras Rotary Club to provide a daily supply of clean water to the 3,000 residents of the community.  The Rotary Foundation provided matching funds to make this dream a reality.  In all, 41 Rotary Clubs and individuals from around the world  joined with two Rotary Districts to provide a local match that led to the approval of this grant of $102,475.

The Barrio community provided additional funding for all of the labor, sand and gravel and began work on the project in May 2015.

Since the construction began, the community has built a new dam and sediment filter, laid 1.8 miles of pipeline through the mountains to the tank, and added a 54,000 gallon water storage tank.  The only aspects of the project remaining are construction of the of the control room for the central chlorination system and laying new pipeline to the 400 homes and businesses; the old pipeline is 17 years old.

The steering committee for the project, made up of representatives from the Port Isabel and Trujillo Rotary Clubs, the barrio governing committee and the barrio water board, also developed a budget to ensure sustainability.  Historically, the water board collected about $3 a month in water fees and the future was not something residents worried too much about.  The fees were developed in the projected budget and the budget now allows for two existing full time water technicians and a part time secretary, and also adds a hygienist.  This full time employee will test the water at the tank once a week and randomly in homes throughout the community.  They will also provide group and individual classes in hygiene.  This person will focus their water tests and hygiene education on households with a resident suffering from waterborne diseases.  The budget also allows for a reserve fund to provide funding for the replacement of the system in the future, maintenance of the current system including chlorine tablets, and an annual audit.

The project is expected to be completed in December of this year.

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