My Experience Building a Water System in a Small Rural Community in the Dominican Republic
Keywords:Water system, Rural community, Dominican Republic, Water insecurity, Public health, Clean water, Peace Corps volunteer, Saint Cloud Rotary Club, Dajabon Rotary Club, Local engineers, Solar panels, Electricity generation, Water tank, Water filtration systems, Bio Arena, Water filters, Community involvement, Water Committee, Gender representation, Intervention programs, Financial management, Project management, Community meetings, Water conditions, Diarrheal disease, Mental health, Food insecurity, Sabana Larga, Northwest region, Rainwater
Clean water is vital for physical, social, and mental health, however, water insecurity is a public health threat for many countries. Sabana Larga is a rural community made up of approximately 230 families located in the province of Dajabon on the Northwest region of the Dominican Republic. Building a new water system has been a priority for the community for many years, however the reason for the delay in the process is the lack of funds and assistance in building such a water system. In 2016, as a Peace Corps volunteer living in the community, I asked the Saint Cloud Rotary club for financial support to build a new water system. The objective of this paper is to share my experience of building a water system in a rural community in the Dominican Republic with the Saint Cloud Rotary Club, the Dajabon Rotary Club, local engineers, and the local community. Between April 2017 and June 2017, the new water system in Sabana Larga was successfully implemented. The water system improved access to clean and safe drinking water for all families, leading to a healthier community and better quality of life. Many lessons were learned throughout the process including the importance of community involvement, understanding local customs and traditions, establishing a Water Committee, and gaining various skills.
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