Every time I visit a new developing water project, I grow increasingly excited about the miraculous transformations that are taking place right in front of me. It seems like with each passing week, I have a new favorite story. This one, however, stands out above them all.
Through our partnership with Food for The Hungry, two more water projects are currently being implemented in the district of Monte Plata, Dominican Republic. Similar to many other places around the DR, the town’s only available source of water came from a nearby river. The river was visibly dirty and incredibly difficult to get to, not to mention the trek back while carrying buckets of water. With the changes that are being made, the town will not only have a place to buy clean water at the Healing Waters project, but they will also have water pumped into their homes. The water will come from a spring in the nearby mountains and will allow them to use the water for indoor sanitation.
This installation truly amazed me because of the effort that the community put in to make it happen.
Here at Healing Waters International, we stress the importance of giving ownership to the people using and operating the water systems. Whenever people have “skin in the game” to the make the project a success, community members develop a sense of pride for what they have accomplished. Along with this pride, comes a yearning to sustain the project for the long term. This approach not only gives them access to clean water, but also creates sustainable job opportunities. It’s a stepping stone to a healthier, more developed community.
The task of piping the water from the mountain source will not be an easy task for the town in Monte Plata. It will take a lot of hard work to dig the miles and miles of trench from the mountain to the town. Although they are presently faced with an overwhelming amount of work, their efforts will pay off immensely in the long run. Long gone will be the days of having to hike miles to fetch dirty water, then carry it home, still unable to use it, until it is boiled. Families will soon no longer have to worry about giving their children contaminated water or cooking food with water that is unfit for consumption. Medical problems such as diarrhea and skin infections will go away. All in all, they are preparing a better future for themselves and their fellow community members.