The Comox Rotary Club, dubbing itself “The Water Club”, will soon begin work on its largest project to date.
Working in partnership with The Comayagua Rotary Club in Honduras, The Five Villages Project will bring potable water to five communities that currently see women and children walking at least two kilometres up and down a mountainside, or to a neighbouring village, to get small amounts of untreated water. Because the water is untreated, there is a high incidence of water-borne disease, including dysentery.
Soon, however, all that will change. Consultation with local residents in Honduras has resulted in a plan to build a 5,000-gallon reservoir at the site of an existing dam, which will supply one village with potable water. A nine kilometer-long pipeline will be built from this reservoir, bringing water down the mountain to a second reservoir with a holding capacity of 40,000 gallons, sufficient to provide clean water to four more villages via seven additional kilometres of pipeline.
As the saying goes: “Nothing succeeds like success”. Comox Rotary, working in partnership with the Comayagua Club, recently completed a drilled well project in a village not far from the proposed new project that now pumps water from a 200-foot deep well to a reservoir that, because of its placement, creates sufficient water pressure to deliver potable water to homes, the local school, and the main station. Rotary also equipped the school with working lavatories and a septic tank. Before this project was completed, this village had no potable water. Comox Rotarian Stan Gaskarth witnessed sewage spilling into ditches and children collecting water from mud puddles. Now, they enjoy clean water and improved sanitation and health. The Five Villages Project builds on that success.
This simple gravity-fed system will ensure viability over an anticipated minimum 25 years, providing water to the 3,600 residents currently living in the five villages and also to those, it is predicted (7500), who will move into these communities as the availability of water and improved sanitation becomes known.
The villagers have made a commitment to dig the trenches, install the pipelines, and build the two reservoir tanks. Each community has established a water committee that has been engaged in the planning and will be equally engaged in the long-term maintenance of the water system. Materials are purchased locally, contributing to the economy.
This being the largest project Comox Rotary has undertaken, with a budget of $105,000 USD, it has been necessary to solicit widespread support. The members of the Rotary Club of Comox who have contributed to the project and worked hard to raise funds acknowledge with gratitude the contributions of community sponsors and neighbouring Rotary clubs.
The club also acknowledges the generous contribution of the Catholic Women’s League of Christ the King Parish. The project is made possible by matching funds from Rotary District 5020 and The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.