Earth Day: Investing in water is investing in the planet
Water is an essential and precious resource provided to us by the planet, but unfortunately it is too often exploited for profit and its access remains limited for millions of people. Investing in water is investing in a healthy planet where the Earth's resources are shared by all in a sustainable way.
Since 2000, our partner Wings of Hope has been supporting the implementation of drinking water projects in rural, Indigenous, marginalized and remote communities in Peru. The Colpapampa project, carried out in collaboration with the Roncalli International Foundation, is a good example of the needs in this country.
Colpapampa, a village that is growing fast!
Colpapampa, in the district and province of Vilcashuaman, is a village perched at an altitude of 3,739 metres in the mountains. Most of its population of 435 people (177 households) rely on agriculture to make a living. This village is an example of the recent rapid population growth in some areas of Peru due to internal migration. Some farmers who had been living on the coast for years, decided to return to Colpapampa due to the negative impacts of the pandemic.
The potable water system, however, was installed about ten years ago and can only provide enough water for the 120 families that live in the flat or central part of the village, and in times of drought, water must be rationed. Despite this limited water supply, about 60 families settled in the hills of Colpapampa and these families have no access to drinking water. Moreover, the municipality as been unable to help the village address this problem.
Gravity fed water system to the rescue!
Fortunately, Wings of Hope, an organization with a wealth of experience in the area of water and sanitation, developed a gravity fed water system in collaboration with the local population as a solution to the water shortage. This project consists, among other things, of installing a system on the highest point of the village so that drinking water can run to the houses of the families located below. The village's water management committee provided all the unskilled labor required to carry out the project. In addition, meetings with the villagers provided an opportunity to discuss hygiene and raise awareness about the proper use of water. The project also includes training to ensure the proper operation and maintenance of the equipment required to source the water and carry it to the houses.
Finally, water for everyone in Colpapampa!
To date, Wings of Hope has provided access to drinking water to villagers in around hundred communities on the coast, in the Andes and in the Amazon. These projects have improved the living conditions of thousands of Peruvians.