Celebrating Success: Two Years in the Making
May 4, 2021
Isama has no electrical infrastructure, and before December had no running water. Each day revolved around gathering water for personal hygiene, watering crops and feeding livestock, and and other essential tasks, like cooking, cleaning and drinking.
A brief history of the Isama Water Project:
In 2018, The Victor and Christine Anthony Foundation and Rotary supported our Isama water project, for implementation in 2019. The local municipality tried unsuccessfully to dig a well to reach an aquifer in this region. After failing to break through stubborn ‘Brazil rock’, we asked for help from the NGO Aguayaku.
The rainy season was long, so the start of the project was delayed. But after six days of drilling in different locations, Aguayaku informed us that efforts could no longer be expended in this community. It was again deemed impossible to perforate the layer of Brazil rock.
All involved parties worked together to find a better solution. The new plan aimed to create a river withdrawl, channelling the water from the Isama River through a 4” pipe that leads to a tower and a tank. The system would have filters and connect directly to the three central community taps.
The project rallied once more, but another unseen force would soon take hold. COVID was in full swing, freezing Bolivia’s workforce and causing a nation-wide lockdown.
But we can be just as stubborn as Brazil rock! We worked to initiate COVID-safe working practices, got the project going again, and On December 29, 2020 we cheered and celebrated as clean water began flowing in Isama. This is Etta Projects first river diversion system, and we are grateful for all the players that helped us design and think through each part and for the tenacity of the community to never give up. There is a system for chlorination at the tank level and each family has already built a second filtration system with home ceramic candle filtration for drinking.
After 30 years of living in Isama they finally have clean running water!
What's next for Isama?
Our strong collaboration with Isama really shows how we work with communities until real solutions are found. The Community Water Committee members are already on the task of caring for their system, with all the tools and knowledge they need to maintain the system.
This is an accomplishment felt by so many and celebrated by all in this small village. But there are many more Bolivian communities like Isama, hoping for our help. Stay tuned in 2021 to watch Etta Projects grow and see how your donations make a difference in the lives of the wonderful people of Bolivia.