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In 2021 we will be working on our next project in Motuse, Nicaragua. For this project we’re partnering with a great organization named CoCoDA, and their in-country partner, The National Community Movement (MCN). CoCoDa has been working in Central America since 1992, completing projects in the areas of water and sanitation, health, education, housing and the environment, among others. We’re excited for this partnership, and for the project in Motuse. 

Motuse is located in the north-west of Nicaragua, and has a population of about 600 people. Water wells in the area that were tested show high levels of nitrates and ammonia, almost certainly from fertilizer used on crops, as well as high alkalinity. For this project we will be drilling a well, installing solar powered pumps, and constructing a collection and distribution system. 

As part of this project we’ll also be piloting a solar powered ultraviolet water purification system. This system will include a simple filter paired with UV light to remove nitrates and ammonia, as well as pathogens and bacteria from the water. Because this is a pilot project, each household will also be given a water filter for their house as backup. 

Your donation to HydrateLife will have a direct impact on the lives of the people of Motuse by bringing them sustainable, clean water. 

Project start: Spring of 2021

Solar Powered Water for Motuse - Motuse, Nicaragua

We’re so excited to be working with the community of Motuse on our first community based solar powered clean water project! This system will serve all 623 people in the community, and will aim to accomplish two goals. First, it will provide a reliable source of clean water to everyone in the community, and do it in an environmentally friendly manner. 

Second, it will give hours of time back to the women and children of the community who walk to get to their current source of water, hours that can be used to better themselves, and their community. 

Our Partners

For this project we’re partnering with a great organization named Companion Community Development Alternatives, or CoCoDA, and their in-country partner, The National Community Movement (MCN). CoCoDa has been working in Central America since 1992, completing projects in the areas of water and sanitation, health, education, housing and the environment, among others. They have completed five solar powered water systems in El Salvador and Nicaragua, including the first ever community based solar powered water system in El Salvador in 2010. We’ll also be receiving assistance from the Municipality of Somoto, and the community of Motuse will be involved in all aspects of the project and provide labor on the project. We’re excited for these partnerships, and for this project in Motuse

We’re so excited to be working with the community of Motuse on our first community based solar powered clean water project! This system will serve all 623 people in the community, and will aim to accomplish two goals. First, it will provide a reliable source of clean water to everyone in the community, and do it in an environmentally friendly manner.

Second, it will give hours of time back to the women and children of the community who walk to get to their current source of water, hours that can be used to better themselves, and their community. 

Our Partners

For this project we’re partnering with a great organization named Companion Community Development Alternatives, or CoCoDA, and their in-country partner, The National Community Movement (MCN). CoCoDa has been working in Central America since 1992, completing projects in the areas of water and sanitation, health, education, housing and the environment, among others. They have completed five solar powered water systems in El Salvador and Nicaragua, including the first ever community based solar powered water system in El Salvador in 2010. We’ll also be receiving assistance from the Municipality of Somoto, and the community of Motuse will be involved in all aspects of the project and provide labor on the project. We’re excited for these partnerships, and for this project in Motuse!

Background

Motuse is a rural, farming community in north-west Nicaragua, and has a population of 623 people in 140 homes. There is also a school, and three churches. Its name makes reference to an ancient farm that had the same name. It is mainly inhabited by people displaced during the 1980-1989 civil war who previously lived in nearby municipalities.

Project Details

The system that will be installed in Motuse is fairly simple. An 18 panel solar array will power a pump located in a community well, sending water from the well to two water towers. From there the water will be gravity fed to all 140 homes, one school, and three churches.

Background

Motuse is a rural, farming community in north-west Nicaragua, and has a population of 623 people in 140 homes. There is also a school, and three churches. Its name makes reference to an ancient farm that had the same name. It is mainly inhabited by people displaced during the 1980-1989 civil war who previously lived in nearby municipalities.

Project Details

The system that will be installed in Motuse is fairly simple. An 18 panel solar array will power a pump located in a community well, sending water from the well to two water towers. From there the water will be gravity fed to all 140 homes, one school, and three churches.

Most of the community’s water will be purified by chlorination, however, as part of this project we’ll also be piloting a solar powered ultraviolet (UV) water purification system. This system will include a simple filter to remove any solids and the UV light to remove pathogens and bacteria from the water. 12 families will use this system, and because this is a pilot project each household will also be given a water filter for their house. For more information on how UV is used to purify water you can read an article I wrote by clicking here.

People from Motuse have communicated that they often don’t have enough water for the day, so they drink less than they should instead of walking back to the well.

Most of the community’s water will be purified by chlorination, however, as part of this project we’ll also be piloting a solar powered ultraviolet (UV) water purification system. This system will include a simple filter to remove any solids and the UV light to remove pathogens and bacteria from the water. 12 families will use this system, and because this is a pilot project each household will also be given a water filter for their house. For more information on how UV is used to purify water you can read an article I wrote by clicking here.

People from Motuse have communicated that they often don’t have enough water for the day, so they drink less than they should instead of walking back to the well.

The Need

In Latin America, women and girls are tasked with collecting water. This is true in Motuse, where they walk up to 1¼  miles to a well. The time required to collect water keeps them from doing the things they need, or want, to do. In the picture at the top of the page, two young girls are carrying buckets of water on their heads. The girls in Motuse should be in school working on their education, not missing school to collect water. 

This project will give these women and children their time back, letting the kids focus on their education and being kids, and allowing the women time to work or for other responsibilities. For the first time in their lives, they will be freed from the hardship of collecting water, easing their domestic workload, improving their quality of life, and empowering them to follow their dreams. 

 

Most of the community’s water will be purified by chlorination, however, as part of this project we’ll also be piloting a solar powered ultraviolet (UV) water purification system. This system will include a simple filter to remove any solids and the UV light to remove pathogens and bacteria from the water. 12 families will use this system, and because this is a pilot project each household will also be given a water filter for their house. For more information on how UV is used to purify water you can read an article I wrote by clicking here.

The Need

In Latin America, women and girls are tasked with collecting water. This is true in Motuse, where they walk up to 1¼  miles to a well. The time required to collect water keeps them from doing the things they need, or want, to do. In the picture at the top of the page, two young girls are carrying buckets of water on their heads. The girls in Motuse should be in school working on their education, not missing school to collect water.

This project will give these women and children their time back, letting the kids focus on their education and being kids, and allowing the women time to work or for other responsibilities. For the first time in their lives, they will be freed from the hardship of collecting water, easing their domestic workload, improving their quality of life, and empowering them to follow their dreams. 

Women from the community have shared that once they don’t have to walk to collect water anymore they look forward to spending more time with friends, more time helping their children with school work, that they were excited that their children would be able to get to school on time, and a number said they would, for the first time, be able to work and help support their families. 

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The other need is for clean water. Gastrointestinal illnesses and internal parasites are very common in the community. The water containers that the people use to get water to their houses are open on top, and the water can easily become contaminated during transportation and storage. This is especially true during the dry season when there is a lot of dust. Having water piped directly to their homes will eliminate this risk of contamination. 

Community Involvement

The community is involved with every aspect of the project. While they will not make a monetary contribution, they will contribute labor towards the project, and have donated the land required to dig a new well, if required, as well as the land for the solar array and distribution tanks. We estimate that their in-kind contributions amount to approximately $20,000.

The other need is for clean water. Gastrointestinal illnesses and internal parasites are very common in the community. The water containers that the people use to get water to their houses are open on top, and the water can easily become contaminated during transportation. This is especially true during the dry season when there is a lot of dust. Having water piped directly to their homes will eliminate this risk of contamination. 

Community Involvement

The community is involved with every aspect of the project. While they will not make a monetary contribution, they will contribute labor towards the project, and have donated the land required to dig a new well, if required, as well as the land for the solar array and distribution tanks. We estimate that their in-kind contributions amount to approximately $20,000.

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Sustainability 

Sustainability is key to our project’s success. We aim to set the community up to be able to operate and maintain the system, and keep it going for decades. A Committee of Potable Water and Sanitation (Comite de Agua Potable y Sanamiento – (CAPS)) has been formed from, and elected by, members of the community. CAPS will be involved in the planning of the project, and its construction. Once the project is complete, they will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system, and handling the community fund.

The committee will be trained on the operation and maintenance of the system by employees of the local municipality, and Alex Martinez, the solar engineer who designed the system and will be installing it. CoCoDA, Hydratelife and MCN will also offer guidance and support based on more than 20 years of experience with water systems, as well as offering training on the finances of the system.

According to UNICEF, as much as 30 to 50 percent of water, sanitation and hygiene projects fail after just two to five years 

 

Meters will be installed at each home connected to the water system, and the committee will determine the cost per cubic meter of water. This will allow the community to have money for normal operation and maintenance, as well as for future repairs, replacing parts, or improving the system. Having this fund ensures that the community will always have the money needed to keep the water running, and because everything will be bought locally, they’ll always be able to get what they need quickly.  Putting a price on the water also will encourage water conservation for all community members.

Meters will be installed at each home connected to the water system, and the committee will determine the cost per cubic meter of water. This will allow the community to have money for normal operation and maintenance, as well as for future repairs, replacing parts, or improving the system. Having this fund ensures that the community will always have the money needed to keep the water running, and because everything will be bought locally, they’ll always be able to get what they need quickly.  Putting a price on the water also will encourage water conservation for all community members.

Sustainability 

Sustainability is key to our project’s success. We aim to set the community up to be able to operate and maintain the system, and keep it going for decades. A Committee of Potable Water and Sanitation (Comite de Agua Potable y Sanamiento – (CAPS)) has been formed from, and elected by, members of the community. CAPS will be involved in the planning of the project, and its construction. Once the project is complete, they will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system, and handling the community fund.

The committee will be trained on the operation and maintenance of the system by employees of the local municipality, and Alex Martinez, the solar engineer who designed the system and will be installing it. CoCoDA, Hydratelife and MCN will also offer guidance and support based on more than 20 years of experience with water systems, as well as offering training on the finances of the system.

According to UNICEF, as much as 30 to 50 percent of water, sanitation and hygiene projects fail after just two to five years 

 

Meters will be installed at each home connected to the water system, and the committee will determine the cost per cubic meter of water. This will allow the community to have money for normal operation and maintenance, as well as for future repairs, replacing parts, or improving the system. Having this fund ensures that the community will always have the money needed to keep the water running, and because everything will be bought locally, they’ll always be able to get what they need quickly.  Putting a price on the water also will encourage water conservation for all community members. 

This project will transform the community of Motuse, and everyone that lives there. And not just the people living there now; this project has the potential to be the catalyst for changes that will be felt for generations to come!

Members of the community have shared that having water piped directly to their homes has been a dream of the community for years, but they never thought it could actually happen. Now that they see their dream becoming a reality, they’re beyond excited, and so are we.

With your help we can assist Motuse in turning their hopes into reality with this environmentally responsible and sustainable project that will bring health to the community, empower the women and girls, and change the future of Motuse.

 

This project will transform the community of Motuse, and everyone that lives there. And not just the people living there now; this project has the potential to be the catalyst for changes that will be felt for generations to come!

Members of the community have shared that having water piped directly to their homes has been a dream of the community for years, but they never thought it could actually happen. Now that they see their dream becoming a reality, they’re beyond excited, and so are we.

With your help we can assist Motuse in turning their hopes into reality with this environmentally responsible and sustainable project that will bring health to the community, empower the women and girls, and change the future of Motuse.

 

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