In March 2016, I encouraged the community to utilize a huge, donated, plastic rainwater tank for the primary school. Apparently, this tank was donated years prior but has since been sitting in the casa comunal collecting dust. During my various meetings in the casa comunal, I saw it idly chilling in the back of the room and the thought of it not being used nagged me. Therefore, I prompted the Padres de Familia to utilize it for the school, as the aqueduct pipe often went dry. Every time this occurred, the school children couldn’t drink their mid-morning crema and suffered through classes with rumbling tummies. After a community meeting, it was decided that the tank would be installed at the school and that each family would donate $2 to purchase the necessary pipes. As the pipes would in total only cost $16, it did not make sense to solicit funds from a local agency. With encouragement, the community members saw that they could make the difference on their own…but only if they all put in a little effort.
With the help of one of the teachers (who has a pick-up truck and transported the pipes), we purchased and carried up the 2″ tube, 1/2″ tube, and smaller tube pieces. In one day, the community members worked together to install the tank; building a short table, cleaning out the tank, cutting the roof pipe and attaching it, and glueing together the smaller pipes. It was a great success and my main counterpart, Fernando (shown in the photo) was elated for the children. Now there is not only another source of water, but a cleaner one at that. This rainwater tank proved to be especially useful during a youth camp held this past January. For five days we relied on its potable water for cooking and drinking! Overall, installing the rainwater tank was a wonderful opportunity for the community to work together and accomplish a goal at a grassroots level.