Project helps provide clean water

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A remote community in Panama benefitted from the $4,500 that was raised

By Special to the Monitor

Last March Los Alamos raised $4,500 to fund a project to provide clean water to a remote community in Panama. That project is now complete and has made a difference in the lives of 160 people of Bajo Cacicon, Comarca Ngäbe-Bugle, Panama.
Dave Caley, the environmental health volunteer who managed the project, reported that during his visit to the community a week ago, every woman he spoke to thanked him profusely.
“They went on and on about how great it is to have water in the house and to not have to collect it from the stream ...The creeks and streams in the area are located at the bottom of ravines and it truly is a hardship to make the trek up and back carrying 5 or 10 gallons of water,” he reported.  
“So I send their appreciation on to you and everyone who helped fund the project. ... The system was built with about 5 kilometers of PVC tube and connected to 29 houses. A spring-box collects water from a complex spring system and delivers it to the 2,000-gallon concrete tank. From there it serves the upper 10 houses before passing through the break-pressure tank and continuing on to the remaining 19 houses.”
He also reported that a break-pressure tank was necessary because of the large drop in altitude between the water tank and many of the houses that lie lower in the community. Without it, pressures at these lower faucets would be high enough to damage the system, possibly bursting tubes or faucets alike.  … It being the heart of the rainy season, finding a truck to drive up the terribly cut clay road was a bit difficult and so the tank was not finished until Oct. 7.
Caley sent some photos, one showing a faucet bent at an awkward angle and pieces of cloth tied around it. This is how the locals filter out sediments and take advantage of having a giant barrel to fill inside the house.
Another photo shows the locals working to bury the pipeline. And the last photo is of Caley and some locals at the aqueduct inauguration party.
Anyone who might be interested in organizing another clean water project fundraiser for another community in need should contact Linda Ivie at 690-4903, or  lindy2@q.com.
For more information visit http://www.waterlines.org/sub_our_projects.html.
Schools interested in helping to fight the world’s water crisis should visit http://water.org/for ideas.