Clean Water in El Jocote (Solar Water Pump)
2011 El Jocote
Service: Water Delivery
People Served: 230 -- includes 41 homes, one school, two churches
Technology: Solar Water Pumps
Funding Partners: Havurah Shalom, Atkinson Foundation, Christadelphian Meal-a-Day Fund of the Americas, SolarWorld (in-kind, solar panels)
Previously, Green Empowerment and our Nicaraguan partner AsoFénix installed solar powered, clean water delivery systems in four communities in the municipality of Teustepe, Nicaragua. The project in El Jocote completed in April now makes the total five. The success of these five projects has proven that this model of solar water pumping is replicable and reliable.
The residents of the Cerro San Geronimo region are primarily subsistence farmers that cultivate corn, beans and millet. The agricultural activity is mainly carried out during the rainy season, from May to December, because the other six months of the year are completely dry.
Previously, much of the water in El Jocote was from a 4.5 meter deep hand-dug well on the outskirts of the village. Women and children were charged with carrying heavy buckets to and from the well everyday.
Now that the solar array, water pump, civil works, and water meters are installed, each member of the community has a reliable and clean source of water delivered nearby their home kitchen. Women and children no longer have to haul heavy buckets with water (one five gallon bucket weighs 40lbs.), nor face the associated neck, back, and pelvic injuries. Women will have more time for rest, their children’s health and education, and other household duties such as patio gardens.
All project objectives were achieved:
* Each person receives at least 10 gallons of clean water each day
* Reduces the time members of the community spend hauling water
* Improves the health conditions and overall quality of life in the region
* Restores the watershed for long-term safeguarding of the water supply
* Improves individual family health and nutrition by growing vegetables
* Demonstrates success with renewable energy as an example for other communities
* Builds local partner capacity for continued replication regionally
* Empowers community members with new skill sets and financial sustainability
"Everyone stood by while we connected the pump and turned on the solar system. After a few minutes, water started pouring out of the pipe at the well top. The supervisor from the local water authority was obviously impressed, and surprised to see that the water was so clear. People gathered to get some water and enjoy the fact that they really had a water supply in their community."
-Walt Ratterman, former GE Program Manager, Candelaria, 2004.