This Spring, EOS partnered with SIMAS, a Nicaraguan nonprofit, on a project to improve the water quality in rural communities located in the municipality of El Sauce, Leon (Western Nicaragua). SIMAS is a local agricultural nonprofit based in Nicaragua and over the years, they have seen the importance of investing in community water as a way to improve the lives of the communities they serve which is why they were so excited to partner with EOS on this project. It also has been a very meaningful project for EOS, as this community is where our CEO and Co-founder, Wes Meier served over ten years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer and installed one of the EOS’ first water chlorinators.
The project started with the installation of water chlorinators in 20 rural communities, followed by the training and development of the local Community Water Board leaders to ensure its success. After the initial success of the first round, the project was expanded to include an additional 96 new communities for a total of 116 communities once the project is completed. For many people in El Sauce, it was the first time they ever had access to safe drinking water in their communities.
Francisco Luna a Water Board President from Sabana Grande was thrilled by the project:
“Before EOS came to our community, my neighbors and I got sick from time to time and thought that this was normal. When EOS first came to Sabana Grande, they tested our water source and found that it was contaminated. We never knew we were drinking dirty water. We are fortunate to have this fixed, as I feel a responsibility to provide safe water for my community”.
The timing of the project was quite significant as we installed our first group of chlorinators right after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Rushing against the clock, our staff and the Community Water Board leaders worked some very long days to ensure the installations would be complete.
Our staff first visited each community to perform a water quality test and provide an orientation with the Community Water Board members. Our team then returned to install the chlorinator, and provide in-depth training on the chlorinator’s operation and how to use, maintain and repair the chlorinators along with how to regularly test and monitor the chlorine levels in the water.
After setting up safe water treatment systems in the first 2o communities, our staff again performed a bacteriological water test to ensure that the drinking water was safe to drink. Community Water Board members were excited to receive the chlorinator and drinking water training, citing the need to protect themselves amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The project so far has provided 1,673 families with safe drinking water.
EOS is always seeking new partners in an effort to share our technical resources and provide safe drinking water solutions to rural communities. this project is an excellent example of how nonprofits can work together to improve the health and quality of life for thousands of people.
Here are some photos of our work in El Sauce:
On May 29, our staff completed a series of installations in El Sauce. The first installation began at 6 am sharp in the Guacimo Almendro community where Pérez a 70-year-old Don Pérez assisted. The second installation was in the community of San Cayetano benefiting 17 families, and the last installation of the day was completed at 7 pm in the Petaquilla Community giving safe water for the first time for 75 families. It was a long day however we were thrilled to have installed 9 out of the 20 chlorinators of the project by this point.