Today’s visit to La Montanita marked the completion of a project to provide ample water to the community.
When the HAF mission team visited in January, the primary concern expressed to us was inadequate water. The residents of the community who live higher up the slopes had no water during most days, and only very low water pressure when they received any water from the community water system. With a visit to the water storage tank and extended conversations with several community members, a project was proposed that would almost triple the supply of water to the tank. A donor stepped forward with the offer to purchase the materials, and the men of the community stepped forward to do all the work to dig the trench, bury the pipe, and complete the necessary connections to the storage tank. Seventy men divided up the total task into segments of about 20 meters for each man to be responsible for, and they completed the job in about eight days of work.
Today we asked several of the women who earlier said they had no water, and every one of them told us with a big smile, “Now I have water all day every day, with good pressure.”
Not only does the community now have enough water–it’s running over and they are providing water to a small community nearby which has encountered similar problems with lack of water. As we drove up the hill into La Montanita, about twenty men from that community were digging and laying pipe to bring the extra clear, cold, fresh water to their houses. One lady who formerly had to stop her tilapia farming because of lack of water has now restarted it and has more than enough water for the fish. The man who has taught the other men of the village how to build Justa stoves is now digging a fish pond to enable him to grow tilapia for sale. He assured me that once he gets the pond operational, the next time a HAF mission team comes to town, he will have a big fish fry for the team! And the self-respect of the men of the village for what they as a team were able to do for their village is apparent in every conversation. They are very appreciative to us for the help provided by purchase of materials. But it was their project, their accomplishment, their sweat equity, and their empowerment that made it happen. Now they know they can do more for everybody when they work together with a little help. What a thrill it is just to see that in action!