The Ostiones community is located in the province of Esmeraldas on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. It is part of the Montalvo Parish within the canton of Rio Verde. Ostiones is a low altitude site reaching from sea level up to 30 meters. The climate is warm and humid, with temperatures ranging between 25 and 28 ºC and an average annual rainfall of 900-2500 mm. The community has a population of about 280 people, local income is mainly from fishing, the shrimp industry & agriculture, many have to travel to the cities to find work.
Ecuador Tierra Viva Foundation supports the development of disadvantaged and neglected areas of Ecuador. In bringing this proposal together, our team of researchers have had conversations with the Ostiones community to identify their basic needs. Water, that primary human necessity, ranked as their number one concern.
Ostiones suffers greatly from poverty and one of the main barriers to its development is the lack of potable water and provision of basic health and hygiene services. The purpose of this proposal is to highlight these problems and to outline an action plan that will help the community to create workable and sustainable solutions.
With the provision of funding and expertise we believe that this project will resolve not only the community's water problems but will provide valuable experience useful to them when meeting further challenges in the future.
The Foundation has scheduled this project to be approved and hopefully completed by the end of 2010.
The beneficiaries of the project will be the 280 people who live within the Ostiones community. The aim of this project is to improve their quality of life and health through provision of a reliable potable water source and an effective waste disposal system. Success indicators will be reduced levels of chronic illness and lower incidences of infectious diseases
“WATER, WATER EVERY WHERE NOR ANY DROP TO DRINK”
Simon Taylor Coleridge
The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
The community’s population of approximately 280 inhabitants is mainly concentrated in a central village with some families living in the surrounding hills. Most of the population live in small wooden houses. The community infrastructure is minimal, there is an electricity supply and a borehole for domestic water use. There is currently no piped water supply or sewage disposal system.
The water quality from the borehole is poor and the borehole itself is degrading rapidly with time. Water supply is supplemented by collecting rainwater runoff from the roof of each house. The health risks within the community associated to the lack of a reliable potable water supply and the absence of any kind of waste disposal system are severe.
The population suffer from increased incidences of avoidable health conditions such as dysentery, diarrhoea and stomach colic. Given the lack of locally available health care, any outbreak of disease or illness requires an expensive trip to a remote medical centre at comparatively great cost to the family. The most vulnerable sectors of the community are the young children and the elderly.
• Drill a new well in the Ostiones community area to find a sustainable reserve of potable water that can be distributed to every family within the community.
• Build a waste collection system that links every house to a septic tank that will collect and breakdown the sewage entering the facility.
1. Potable water supply
Recruiting of technicians specialised in construction of wells,
Selection of the location for the well.
Analyse costs and prepare budget
Purchase of the materials and transportation.
2. Waste disposal system
Recruiting of technicians specialised of waste disposal systems
Survey the community dwellings and select appropriate pipe runs and septic tank location.
Analyse costs and prepare budget
We will host a community gathering to explain the motive for the project, its intended benefits and likely outcomes. From the outset we will involve the community in all aspects of the research, feasibility study and implementation phases of the project. Community participation will add a sense of “ownership” to the project and encourage its long-term sustainability.
A key element to the implementation of the project will be the involvement of visiting volunteers. These volunteers who will be both Ecuadorean nationals and foreigners will introduce new approaches and insights to the problems experienced in the community and may well help develop solutions to these problems as well. Naturally there will be a transfer of skills and opinions in both directions to create learning opportunities for all who participate in the interaction.
The key tasks for the project will involve both manual labour and machinery work.
(Construction of wells, excavation and installation of pipes).
Resources: human, material and technical.
For the technical work of excavation, pipe and pump assembly, skilled workers will be hired (mason).
The project will receive assistance from foreign volunteers
The purchase of equipment will be in Esmeraldas, due to the proximity to the community.
Prior to the completion of the project a feasibility study, Environmental Impact study and permits from the Ecuadorian government are required.
Ownership and responsibility of project implementation.
Once the well is built, it will be a property of the Ostiones community.
The foundation Ecuador Tierra Viva will monitor the smooth operation of the facilities and activities for community development that this programme may bring about.
Part of the work will be carried out with the participation of the community working with foreign volunteers.
The project suitability for the environment is guaranteed. The location of the well will avoid contaminated areas such as toilets, sinks, cemeteries, etc.
The well will not have a negative environmental impact. The work of constructing the well, the septic tank and the waste system will not cause any change to the local ecosystem and does not pollute the environment.
During the execution period of the project, the following actions will be taken:
During the whole period, from the beginning till the end, every job will be controlled by the representatives of ETV, who will reside in the community. ETV will oversee hiring of local labour and the purchase of materials.
Once the work is finished, an evaluation will be carried out.
The benchmarks for evaluation will be as follows:
- Work quality
- Satisfaction survey to the inhabitants of the community