Corral de Piedra

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THE NEED

Corral de Piedra sits in a mountainous region of the La Paz region of Western Honduras. At the beginning of this project, its 300 residents had no access to either clean or running water. For all of their drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs, they were forced to rely on scarce natural sources such as low-yield springs. This water was often contaminated by animals, fertilizer, and waste, causing frequent gastrointestinal disease.

EWB-USC’s RESPONSE

During an assessment trip in March 2010, EWB-USC analyzed various possible methods of binging water to the Corral de Piedra community. Feasible options included harnessing surface water, constructing wells, improving spring systems, and collecting rainwater. After conducting an on-site investigation of factors driving yield, quality, sustainability, maintenance, and cost, the decision was made to use rainwater catchment systems to increase the community’s access to clean water. This system was designed to bring clean water straight to the local schoolhouse, allowing the teacher and schoolchildren to focus solely on education. In addition to rainwater catchment, EWB-USC partnered with a local, Honduran-run non-profit to supply each family with affordable, ceramic filters. The filters have been in use for ~4 years, and the community has seen a dramatic decrease in waterborne diseases.

This project was completed in March 2012, and with the evident appreciation and care for the rainwater catchment system by the community, armed with knowledge of how to perform the appropriate maintenance, EWB-USC has full confidence that the system will provide clean and sustainable access to water for a long time. After the completion of the schoolhouse rainwater catchment system, EWB-USC conducted periodic visits to Corral de Piedras, monitoring the effectiveness of the system and making design changes as necessary.

Below are photographs showing EWB-USC implementing the project and interacting with the community throughout project site visits.