Our rainwater systems project was born from the need to provide clean, safe and potable water to the populations living in the affected areas, where a high hydrocarbon contamination affects the waters on which they depend to meet their basic needs such as drinking, cooking and bathing.
The main goal is to provide systems to use uncontaminated water , improving health conditions and especially preventing the outbreak of catastrophic diseases such as cancer.
Within this framework, we are looking for a direct involvement of beneficiaries so that they can deal with maintenance of systems and thus not depending on external help to continue enjoying drinking water.
The execution phase of the project, delivery of materials and construction of the systems has been preceded by some preparatory steps, such as:
o Making a health assessment to recognise and identify the specific diseases suffered by the local population.
o Water analysis in order to have more data and evidence on pollution.
o Mapping environmental liabilities for a complete picture of pollution sources.
o Identification of the first beneficiary , through a participatory selection based on emergency criteria of the intervention and resources availability . Priority beneficiaries have been identified as those families most exposed to pollution and with the lowest income.
o Analysis of health infrastructure , personnel and resources health existing in the area.
o Coordination with partner institutions, communities and nationalities.
During the installation of the rainwater systems, a training process on the importance of using uncontaminated water has been performed. In addition, local technicians have been trained to install and maintain the systems. In total, more than 10 workshops have been carried out, in addition to three evaluation surveys by means of interviews with dozens of beneficiaries.
The project was realized thanks to technical and economic support from Rainforest Foundation and UNICEF..
The project is based on the use of proper technology to collect rainwater and filter it using sand, volcanic stones, quartz and catalysts. Rainwater is collected from house's roofs through a channel that takes it to a 600 to 1100 litre tank that filters the water. In the filter, the water passes slowly through the various layers of sand, gravel and quartz, which purify it, removing bacteria, heavy metals and other contaminants it may have. Once purified, the water enters through a siphon to a second tank similar to the first, where it is stored until being used.
Once the system is installed, the tanks are covered and sealed to avoid any type of external contamination . The system can last between three and five years without maintenance , after which regular interventions are needed to keep it in good condition. With proper maintenance, the length of tanks can reach up to twenty-five years .
The project started in 2008 and was then implemented in stages in different peasant and indigenous communities.
Rainwater systems installed
in areas close to pollution sources such as platforms, wells and flares. 90% have been installed in family homes and 10% in educational and health centers.