Bon Voyage Peru Team Trip 2

Bon Voyage Peru Team Trip 2

Travelers Kavin, Eric, and Chris ready to go!

These are the voyages of the EWB-DC Peru Travel Teams. Its five-year mission: To explore faraway lands.  To build a better world through engineering projects that empower communities.  To boldly go where no one has gone before to assist communities in meeting their basic human needs! Please join us as we wish our travelers safe journeys on this, the second Assessment Trip, to the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Amazon Jungle, to the indigenous Yanesha community of Shiringamazú, Peru.

Project Log –  August 9, 2019, Eric Liang, Chris Riley, and  Kavin Sanghavi departed from Dulles International Airport in Washington DC for Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima.  This will be the first trip to Shiringamazú for each of the veteran EWB travelers.  The first assessment trip last year identified the lack of clean water as the community’s most pressing need.  The community currently draws its water from a combination of springs, shallow wells, surface water, and rainwater.  The water is often discolored and foul-smelling.  During periods of heavy rain, water from the springs are often laden with sediment. The availability of water from the springs and wells fluctuate with rainfall and the seasons.  For some members of the community, rainwater is the primary water source with families switching to other sources during dry periods.  All the water sources that were tested showed evidence of e-coli contamination.

The lack of clean water for drinking, cooking, and basic sanitary needs has directly impacted the health and welfare of the community.  All of the children have suffered from endemic waterborne intestinal diseases which has affected their nutrition, growth, and school attendance.  The adults are often ill, preventing them from working the land and providing for their families.

The assessment trip will allow the travelers to gain a better understanding of the water usage in the community, to locate new sources of water supply, to ascertain the quality and quantity of water from water sources available to the community, and to obtain the necessary information to perform an alternative analysis to determine the most appropriate water sources to replace or to augment the existing water supplies.   

The trip will also begin discussions with the community on the need for:

  1. A Memorandum of Understanding between the community and EWB-DC outlining the responsibilities of each entity and the eventual Community Partnership Agreement.
  2. The need for proper hygiene practices and creating a sustainable health education program.
  3. Public agreement on the type of water system that will best serve the community.
  4. The community’s role in the construction and financing of the water system.
  5. The establishment of a Board of Directors of Sanitation Services to oversee the community water system. 
  6. Trained personnel to operate and maintain a community water system.
  7. A business plan to finance the continuing operation and maintenance of a water system.

The goal of the assessment trip is an educational and informational exchange, to develop a better understanding of the expectations of the community and the local resources available.   Focus groups and community meetings will be organized with the help of our local NGO (Reach Global), and the community leaders to present information and to receive feedback from the residents.

We wish the travelers a safe trip with many memorable experiences during their journey. Please be sure to follow the blog to keep up with the travelers and the progress of our efforts in Shiringamazú, Peru.

Thank you for reading our blog. Ninety-five percent of the cost of providing clean water to communities such as Shiringamazú are borne and paid for by the EWB-DC chapter through fundraising efforts by its volunteers and generous donations from organizations and individuals such as yourself.  The communities that we serve are asked to provide 5% of the cost of materials and construction through community contributions or in-kind labor.  If you wish to contribute to the construction of the water system, please use the following link, https://give.classy.org/EWBDCPeru2019.  Your financial support will greatly benefit the indigenous Yanesha population for many generations to come and is greatly appreciated. EWB is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose volunteer members contribute freely of their time and talents to assist developing communities with their needs.  If you wish to join in our efforts, please feel free to contact us or attend our open meetings on this or other EWB-DC projects, the descriptions and meeting schedules of which are listed on our website at http://www.ewb-dc.org/.