Global Brigades worked with the community of El Junco to build their own water system after years of struggle with a neighboring community over their shared water source. This system provides clean water to 200 beneficiaries.
El Junco, Honduras
Prior to Global Brigades’ arrival, the community of El Junco was relying on a drinking water supply system that did not meet all of the adequate conditions of a correctly working system in terms of water quality and quantity. Their water system was constructed 25 years ago by a Honduran government institution but monitoring or follow up was provided by this institution after construction. The original system was constructed to supply a total of 50 households distributed to the two communities of El Junco and El Encinal without taking into account the growth of these communities. Currently there are over 90 households in the community. Houses not originally connected to the system were forced to get water by carrying it from a nearby stream. Pipe diameters in the original system design were not sufficient to provide water consistently to all the houses that were connected. El Junco was located downstream of El Encinal on the water system so due to imporper rationing, valve manipulation, and water use in El Encinal, El Junco was often left without water. In many cases, houses could go without receiving water for up to a week.
The Water Council had only two members who were not complying with any of their responsibilties. Due to the lack of organization in the Water Council and poor water service, the vast majority of community members were not paying a water fee. This lack of organization and general infrastructural failure caused the community to stop treating its water. Illnesses related to water and poor sanitation and hygiene were common. As a very under resourced community, El Junco did not have the funds to improve their existing system, or to consider constructing a new system. The community had previously solicited support from government organizations without receiving any help.
Water System Solution
Water Brigaders from 16 different universities worked in El Junco from May 2010 to August 2010. During that time, the volunteers worked with community members to:
• Reach an agreement between El Junco & El Encinal to design two separate water systems.
• Build a simple dam with water intake structure
• Construct 5,000 gallon storage tank with chlorinator
• Dig approximately 2,500 meters of trench and lay pipeline
• Connect 33 houses, 1 schools, and 1 health center
• Provide educational seminars to children in the community on water and health related topics
When Water Brigades first entered the community of El Junco a dire water need was observed. Furthermore, it lacked strong leadership,organization, and motivation due to having lived so many years without a proper water system and no government support. There was a clear divide between the people and leaders of El Encinal and El Junco when it came to the issue of the water system. Building two separate systems and giving each community power over its own system and thus proved to was a great success. In addition, Water Brigades was able to see the change in community organization and buy-in to their water system throughout the project.
Water Project Stages
All stages of this water project have been completed.