Los Paredones is located between two mountain ranges; the La Sierra de Neiba to the south and the Cordillera Central to the north.
Los Paredones is located between two mountain ranges; the La Sierra de Neiba to the south and the Cordillera Central to the north. Its principal economic activity is based on large scale farming which includes the cultivation of beans, corn, rice and coffee including fruits and vegetables, This area is one of the driest areas of the country and where deforestation has stripped the mountain slopes of trees and shrubs causing major ecological challenges. The social Ministry Committee, Parroquia San Pedro Apostol in El Cercado proposes community water systems that will provide safe and clean water to 32 families, representing 141 people in the rural community of Los Paredones. The water system will be built by the families of the community with technical assistance provided by a Peace Corps volunteer, local masons, and parish staff. The water system needs a tank, a water pump, spring boxes and pipes to deliver the water to individual taps in homes. The Social Ministry Committee of San Pedro Apostol has worked together with local rural communities in the construction of numerous gravity-fed water systems. These water systems are administered and maintained by a Water Committee elected by the community. Each family pays a monthly or yearly quota for ongoing maintenance to the Water Committee, which organizes regular community meetings. The committee organizes work brigades, develops by- laws and rules, collects and manages funds and implements an ongoing maintenance program. Problems Facing the Community: The need to provide a clean, reliable and accessible water supply is the goal of the project for the community of Los Paredones, which faces the daily challenge of supplying its need of potable water. Hermandad Inc. recognizes that the lack of potable water in Los Paredones presents a major challenge for this community. We are especially concerned with the poor quality of available water, which negatively affects the overall community health. The present need of water for Los Paredones is met by carrying water from the nearby community of Sabana Bonita (.5 kilometer distance), in addition a nearby contaminated irrigation channel also serves as a water source and has been in the past associated with several cases of cholera.
Community members from Los Paredones descend to the community of Sabana Bonita, which is at an elevation (10 feet) lower than Los Paredones to fill buckets of water to carry them back to their community using mules and horses. It is the task of mostly women to carry the water gathered from nearby Sabana Bonita, which has a functioning gravity fed aqueduct, supplied from a spring and water which is then distributed to homes by tubes and controlled by individual taps. The gravity fed water system that exists in Sabana Bonita was designed exclusively for that community. It was the wish of the community of Los Paredones to be included in the system but due to the difference in elevation (approx. 10 feet), a pump was required to pump water to Los Paredones. At the time, electricity was not available in the area, in addition, residents of Sabana Bonita were afraid that drawing water from their system meant less water for their community and Los Paredones was excluded.
The existing circumstance of women working long hours to obtain water exemplifies a basic injustice in the rural local culture, which this project will help alleviate. Economic support from the international community is needed to help these communities build and upgrade their water systems.
The Social Ministry Committee along with leaders from the community of Los Paredones has developed a list of needed materials to construct the water system including quantities for Los Paredones which is included as part of this proposal on p.4. To lower costs, the Social Ministry, will purchase materials in bulk and representatives for each of the families in Los Paredones will be responsible for participating in work brigades that will dig trenches, place PVC tubes, mix cement and provide the manual labor required in the construction. The community is determined to obtain water and they will put their animal, oxen, mules and horses to open the trenches to lay the piping. The community is small and they need to organize the work with the use of animal power for project completion. Workshops will be given to the Water Committees for the ongoing formation and training of community members. Specialized labor will be obtained locally with ongoing staff assistance from the Social Ministry Committee as well as a Peace Corps Volunteer responsible for the system design.
Los Paradones will greatly benefit from a pump-driven aqueduct. There is a clean spring located 1.7 kilometers to the West of the village that provides a constant and abundant volume of water This system is designed for a 5000 gallon Ferro-Cement Tank tank in the immediate area of the community that will store the water for distribution. The mainline, which conveys water from the source to the village, will be constructed of 330 sections of 2-inch PVC piping. The distribution network will require 172 sections of 1-inch PVC piping. Each of the 32 families will have its own private tap stand. The community has in its possession between 70-80 PVC tubes of 1-1/4″ to 1-1/2″ dia. and between 25-30 of 3/8″ dia. Water quotas have been established at $RD40 (US$1) per family and the community is aware that the quotas will be increased once the project is underway.